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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 4547 ..

Mr Quinlan

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) There are no automatic exemptions without conditions under stage 3 water restrictions for business or residents. All exemptions are considered by ACTEW on a case-by-case basis. Some "large users"have negotiated agreements with ACTEW, which allow them to operate outside the restriction scheme. However they must have an overall plan that will decrease water usage by 40%.

(2) The restrictions scheme has been designed to limit the impact on business and employment in the ACT. If a business can demonstrate that compliance with the restrictions is likely to cause serious disproportionate or unintended financial damage and can demonstrate that they are using water as efficiently as possible, an exemption will be considered. Exemptions to residents are considered on the basis of health reasons, such as where a person is unable to use a trigger hose. In these cases sprinklers may be used on the designated days.

(3) Prior to the commencement of stage 3 water restrictions, ACTEW held meetings with a number of industry groups. ACTEW did not want to cause unintended financial hardship on any industry group including pool companies. It was also concerned about the health and safety issues relating to water levels in the pool and the potential for damage to the pool's structure. Agreement was subsequently reached to allow exemptions for filling pools. Exemptions must be obtained prior to purchase of a pool and an exemption will only be considered where a pool cover is to be used once the pool is filled.

Electronically controlled irrigations systems cannot be used because of the potential to over-water through lack of moisture or rainfall sensors and a known risk of system failures causing uncontrolled water flows.

(4) The intention of the restrictions is to achieve a 40% reduction in consumption. ACTEW has initiated a range of measures under Stage 3 to reduce consumption and expect that all these initiatives in combination will contribute to the expected outcome. At this stage ACTEW is not in a position to be certain how successful these initiatives will be because Canberra has never had to implement Stage 3 restrictions before. If ACTEW find during the summer that we have reduced consumption below the target consumption level, ACTEW will be in a position to reassess the restrictions regime.

Mounted police unit

(Question No 1050)

Mr Pratt asked the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, upon notice, on

23 October 2003:

In relation to Canberra's mounted police unit:

(1) What are the details of the productivity report into the viability of Canberra's mounted police unit;

(2) Throughout the investigation for this report, were the police officers performing their normal duties within the mounted police unit;

(3) If not, why not;

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