Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 4592 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
As to some of the technical detail of the question that Mrs Dunne asked, I would be happy to take that on notice.
MRS DUNNE: In the strategy, have you also-
MR SPEAKER: Would you come to the question without a preamble, please?
MRS DUNNE: Have you adjusted the consumption downwards to make the picture of water use in the ACT even rosier?
MR STANHOPE: No. I think we all know that the situation in relation to water and water use in the ACT, and our capacity to use water wisely and sustainably, is the single most significant issue facing us and our capacity to develop and expand. Issues of water supply and availability, and the use of water, are fundamentally important to the future of the territory and to the way we live. It is the biggest single issue facing our future development.
The water strategy certainly does not seek to paint a rosy picture at all, and I have no inclination to do so either. In fact, what the government has been seeking to do, and has been doing quite successfully, in partnership with the people of Canberra, is to raise public awareness of the importance of water and how seriously we should consider this issue. One of the things that we have been doing over the last two years is ensuring that the people of Canberra understand how significant issues of water and water supply are, and how important it is that we ensure a sustainable water supply in the future. The furthest thing from our minds is painting a rosy picture about water and water supply issues.
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order under standing order 118 (a): I asked a question about whether or not the consumption figures have been downgraded and I do not have an answer to that question. We have had a treatise about how important water is.
MR SPEAKER: Order, everybody! I also heard you ask a question about whether or not the Chief Minister was trying to paint a rosier picture. I think he is entitled to respond to that.
MR STANHOPE: Absolutely. That was the question that was asked. On the point of order, Mr Speaker: you were quite right. The question that was asked was had we actually downgraded consumption figures in the water strategy so as to paint a rosy picture about water consumption, and the answer is no; we have not downgraded the water consumption figures in the water strategy so as to paint a rosy picture. We have not done anything in connection with water or anything in the water strategy so as to paint a rosy picture. Nothing we did in the water strategy, nothing I have ever said about water supply and water consumption or use in the ACT was done so as to paint a rosy picture about the circumstance of the supply of water in the ACT.
We have been open and honest about it. We have not sought to paint a rosy picture about anything in relation to water. In fact, the situation in relation to water supply issues