Page 791 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 March 2005

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MR STEFANIAK: I thank the minister for that. Minister, can you guarantee that Canberra’s drinking water supply and public swimming pools are not contaminated with cryptosporidium?

MR CORBELL: I find it odd that Mr Stefaniak links water in swimming pools and Canberra’s water supply in the same question. As I am sure members would appreciate, there is a difference—

Mr Stefaniak: It comes from the sky to the dams, to the pools and you drink it out of taps.

MR CORBELL: It is the same, is it, Mr Stefaniak? Do you drink from swimming pools? That would explain quite a lot.

I am concerned that the opposition continues to assert, at least indirectly, that there are problems with the safety of Canberra’s water supply. That is a serious assertion, even if made indirectly in the way that Mr Stefaniak just did. If Mr Stefaniak believes that there is a problem he should say so and he should explain why. But to suggest indirectly, as some sort of snide assertion that there is a problem with Canberra’s water supply, is alarmist and dangerous.

Mr Speaker, I am advised that the most recent testing of Canberra’s water supply identified no problems and that the water supply is safe, as it has been—even after the bushfire event in 2003. In relation to Canberra’s water supply, as I indicated yesterday, the most recent testing indicates that all of our water is safe, in terms of the water supply, and meets all the relevant national standards.

In relation to swimming pools: neither ACT Health nor the ACT government goes around and monitors every swimming pool in Canberra.

Mr Stefaniak: Public swimming pools.

MR CORBELL: Public—I apologise. Again, I have not been advised of any problems with any public swimming pools in Canberra in terms of any infestation of anybody that would be cause for alarm from a public health perspective. However, I will double-check with the office of the Chief Health Officer and provide that advice to Mr Stefaniak.

I have to again say to members: public confidence in the water supply is a very important issue that should be treated with some level of circumspection—a circumspect approach—by all members. If members believe there are problems they are, of course, entitled to raise them, but they should do so not simply on the basis of a snide allegation or assertion but in a responsible fashion with at least some evidence. That is not what we have seen from the opposition recently and, regrettably, elements of the media as well.

Aged care accommodation

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Planning and my office has given Mr Corbell’s office prior notice of this question, in the interests of receiving an answer in question time. Minister, I refer to your announcement last week of the successful

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