Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 26 March 2009) . . Page.. 1415 ..
There will need to be an intergovernmental arrangement to allow water trade to occur between New South Wales and the ACT. Even though Actew can purchase water entitlements from irrigators in the Murrumbidgee River system at any time there is no instrument to allow the movement of water from the regulated Murrumbidgee River to the unregulated upper Murrumbidgee River. Because it is not covered by a water sharing plan under the relevant New South Wales legislation the water transfer and licence cannot be dealt with administratively. The government will be facilitating the water transfer-specific intergovernmental arrangement to achieve this.
Finally, there will need to be commercial arrangements between Actew and Snowy Hydro Ltd for use of the water stored in the Tantangara reservoir. This is also being progressed. Under the Tantangara option the water transferred from Tantangara reservoir to supply the ACT will no longer be available for power generation by Snowy Hydro Ltd. Therefore Actew needs to negotiate commercial compensation arrangements with Snowy Hydro, and this is underway.
Let me make it very, very clear that this water is available. This water has been properly identified as a secure source for the ACT and it will dramatically improve water security for the territory.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Burch, a supplementary question?
MS BURCH: Can the minister explain what measures the government is adopting in the combination with the Murrumbidgee to Googong and Tantangara reservoir to reduce water use by the community?
MR CORBELL: Again, I thank Ms Burch for the question. The government’s approach to water planning and management is to adopt the combination of demand management and supply augmentation to achieve water security for the territory. The framework includes managing the efficient use of water for our requirements and optimising the use of available non-potable water. This framework is set out in the government strategy, think water, act water, which includes a target of reducing per capita consumption of mains water by 12 per cent by 2013 and 25 per cent by 2023.
Mr Speaker, I saw your comments in relation to demand mitigation or demand management in the media the other day, and I have to point out to you that your claims that the government is not focusing on demand management are simply incorrect. These targets demonstrate that that is the case. Indeed, our permanent water conservation measures have seen temporary water restrictions adopted to new levels. For example, the current permanent water conservation measures now in place are now the same as the old level 2 temporary water restrictions, and our new restrictions regime is more stringent. Over the next year, we will be further reviewing our demand management regime to make sure it is appropriate for the new norm in rainfall and catchment performance.
But it is important to stress what work the government is doing to deal with improvements in non-potable water supply and demand management. It is worth highlighting, for example, the significant investment the government is making in