Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4668 ..

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Hargreaves, please resume your seat for a moment. I am not going to put up with this any longer. I am going to warn people and you know what that leads to.

MR HARGREAVES: Can the minister advise the Assembly how the strategy will help the Canberra region deal with water issues over the short and long term? Can the minister outline the process that the government has set in train to finalise the strategy?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves, for the question. Despite the mocking and the hilarity on the other side, issues about water are very serious and they deserve far more serious attention than the Liberal Party is prepared to give them. It really is a major issue and the draft strategy that the government released last week is the first serious attempt by any government in the ACT to address issues connected with a sustainable water supply now and into the future, for Canberra and the Canberra community. I think it reflects extremely poorly on the opposition that they refuse to take this issue seriously.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Come to the point of the question, Mr Stanhope.

MR STANHOPE: The point of the question is the seriousness of a draft water strategy for the ACT. With great pleasure, last Friday, I did release a draft water strategy for the ACT, "Think water, act water". I think it is important that we look at the document as other than static. It will be reviewed regularly. It is not something that we would set in place, here and now, never to be changed. Circumstances change and it is a document that we will be reviewing regularly after this initial period of consultation with the community in relation to the broad range of issues that it encompasses. Of course, we will develop and implement the plan in relation to each of the issues that is raised.

A number of very significant objectives are detailed within the plan-a range of targets or issues that we have to look at. It is not just about ensuring a water resource, it is not just about ensuring that we reduce consumption; it is about a whole range of things. The broad objectives within the plan are:

to provide a long-term, reliable source of water for the ACT and region;

to increase the efficiency of water usage;

to promote the development and implementation of an integrated regional approach to ACT-New South Wales cross-border water supply and management;

to protect the water quality in ACT rivers, lakes and aquifers, to maintain and enhance environmental, amenity, recreational and designated use values and to protect the health of the people in the ACT and downriver;

to facilitate the incorporation of water sensitive urban design principles into our urban, commercial and industrial development;

to promote and provide for community involvement and partnership in the management of the ACT water resource strategy.

I previously announced a number of targets in relation to the achievement of these objectives, for instance:

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .