Page 2729 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 16 August 2005

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and number one in terms of innovative capacity. Before we even came to government, we said we would pursue the ACT as a knowledge-based economy. I am sorry to disappoint Mr Smyth: they did not mention the fashion industry. But you never know; hang in there son.

The KPMG international report on cost competitiveness rates Canberra as amongst the best in Australia and bundles Canberra in the group of emerging cities that are rising stars in growth potential. That is the Canberra of today; that is Canberra under this government’s economic white paper; and that is Canberra under our pursuit of a knowledge-based economy, and an enterprise and innovative economy. Those results will be realised. Again, sorry Mr Smyth, KPMG did not get to the fashion industry.

Water—Canberra supply

MR GENTLEMAN: Chief Minister, in light of the good rainfalls over the last three months, could you update the Assembly on the status of ACT reservoirs?

MR STANHOPE: I am very happy to do that. I think members, along with the rest of the Canberra community, would be taking a very fine interest and detailed interest in our rainfall. I confess that there are times these days when the first part of the paper I turn to is the daily assessment of rainfall and dam levels. It is becoming a very significant part of the daily news and information for all of us. I am very pleased with the rain we have had over the last two months—73 millimetres in June compared with the long-term average of 39.9 and 86.4 millimetres in July compared with the long-term average of 41. We have had 34.4 millimetres of rain so far in August compared with the long-term average of 47.

Of course, those amounts of rainfall are recorded at Canberra airport. It is not rain that falls within our catchments, which, unfortunately, does tell a very different story. Often the rain that falls at Canberra airport is double or more that for the Cotter catchment and often half or less than half of the rainfall at Canberra airport falls within the Googong catchment. That, of course, represents some of the great challenges we face in relation to water. That is reflected very much in our water storage levels at the moment but, once again, the trend certainly is very pleasing.

In just the last two weeks our dam levels have increased from 51 per cent to 55 per cent as of today, increasing from 42 per cent as at 1 July. There have been very significant increases in storage over the last six to eight weeks; in fact, an increase of 13 per cent in that time in our total dam storage. The Cotter is full but is a small dam, our smallest at just five gigalitres. Bendora Dam is currently at 93.8 per cent and Corin is at 78 per cent.

The issue for the territory, and it is something we have been very conscious of over the last three years, is that in the time that our total storage capacity has increased by 13 per cent, in the last few weeks, the level within Googong has increased by just one per cent. Our dam levels now overall are at the highest they have been since 2003; indeed, the highest they have been at this time of the year since 2002. Of course, those numbers indicate that, despite these very pleasing increases in the trend, this is not a total answer to our long-term water supply needs.

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