Page 1838 - Week 06 - Thursday, 5 May 2005

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Efficient use of water is an essential component of the think water, act water strategy, and one that has been readily embraced. To date, over 2,000 government-subsidised water audits of residential and commercial premises have been undertaken, with another 3,000 applications under way. In addition, over 1,100 rebates have been given for installation of water-efficient devices such as AAA showerheads and rainwater tanks.

But think water, act water does not focus just on efficient use of potable water. It also details the other components of our water resources—surface water, ground water and reclaimed water—and indicates how these resources can be sustainably used. Our urban lakes and waterways are enormously valuable in aesthetic, recreational and ecological terms. In the face of growing demands to extract water, we need to protect these resources. It is important that non-potable water use is managed efficiently so that holistic management of the water resources of the ACT occurs.

A new administration scheme which takes into consideration proposed use of water and community values will enable more robust decision making to ensure the sustainable and efficient management of this precious resource. The ACT is committed to ensuring that the reforms of the national water initiative are implemented. This includes the national imperative to increase the productivity and efficiency of water use and the need to service our community and to ensure the health of river and ground water systems. A more equitable and robust administration scheme that takes into consideration beneficial community use will strengthen our commitment to this national initiative.

The bill also seeks to address technical flaws that impact on the ability of Actew to supply mains water. Essentially, Actew need to be able to abstract their allocated volume of water from either or both of the Cotter or Googong systems, depending on water quality and water levels in the reservoirs. This bill will allow such abstraction to happen.

The Assembly will maintain a role in the development of this scheme, as it will be implemented through reforms to the Water Resources Act. In this way, the current bill is the first but important step in developing the new administration system that will allow for sustainable and socially acceptable management of the ACT’s water resources. I therefore commend the Water Resources Amendment Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.


Mr Quinlan presented the following paper:

Appropriation Bill 2005-2006—Explanatory statement.

Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2005

Mr Quinlan, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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