Page 1515 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 May 2006

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But as well as saving water, community water grant projects promote wise water use, community engagement and greater popular awareness about the pressing issues of water efficiency and conservation, water reuse and recycling. A significant proportion of grant recipients were right here in the ACT.

I mention just a few of these projects to illustrate the kinds of practical water conservation measures that have been devised by territorians. Melrose primary school in Chifley has proposed a rainwater saving project that will now be able to install rainwater tanks to collect water from the roof of the school. According to the plan, this collected water will be used for toilet flushing and irrigation for the school grounds. In addition to the existing downpipe, the drainage system will be modified to increase water-harvesting effectiveness. With the $45,455 grant that was received, the project is predicted to save 498,000 litres of water each year.

Dickson college in Canberra has also developed a school indoor water efficiency project which will now be able to greatly improve water efficiency at the college by implementing a range of water-saving initiatives. These initiatives include the installation of constant flow valves on taps, the replacement of inefficient toilets and a sealing of leaks. In addition, the school has expressed interest in trialling the use of a waterless urinal. Thanks to their $42,019 grant, Dickson college will now be saving around 411,000 litres of water each year.

Finally, the Australian National University has successfully received a grant to implement a water reuse project that involves its chemistry laboratories. This project will make a monumental difference to the university’s water saving by using air-cooled chillers to cool and reticulate water that passes through rotor evaporators in these labs. With this simple but practical solution that received $40,568 to put it into action, approximately 26 million litres of water will be saved per year.

These innovative measures, which were created and proposed by local territorians to improve the sustainability of our water use and contribute to the long-term water health of our community, would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of the federal government that recognises the value that individual contributions can make to the betterment of society. I applaud the individuals behind these efforts and the forward-thinking policies that champion them.

Federal budget

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.19): Today this Assembly has had to endure yet another ode to the federal Liberals by the unquestioning and blindly faithful ACT opposition. Mr Mulcahy this morning was almost breathless as he sung the virtues of 7,000 public servants coming to Canberra, as promised by Messrs Howard and Costello.

It appears that the memories of the opposition are as short as the sight of the federal government, because if the opposition had any worthwhile recall they would recollect that it was 10 years ago that Howard and co slashed 14,000 jobs in the ACT. It has taken them 10 years to discover that their policy of economic rationalism simply does not work. But 7,000 is only half of 14,000, and I can only imagine Mr Mulcahy’s excitement if the ACT were rewarded, as it were, with the return of all of the jobs slashed in 1996.

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