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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 Sept 2009) . . Page.. 4066 ..

will see 400 jobs per year being delivered from that project. That is a very important element in terms of economic activity in the city. We will also see improvements in water quality overall. Indeed, the work that Actew is doing now in relation to managing endangered fish species in the Cotter reservoir is being recognised as nation leading and is significantly contributing to the improvement of the overall water quality and the habitat for that fish species.

Actew have also undertaken a range of measures to improve and manage the sustainability issues associated with this project. In particular, the very detailed work they have undertaken to mitigate the carbon emissions associated with this project is very much a leading-edge development and something which will demonstrate to other major infrastructure providers how carbon emissions can be dealt with as part of these projects.

So there are a range of other benefits that are also being undertaken. That is important. It is part of the government’s commitment to sustainable development activity as well as assuring water security for the ACT.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary question?

MRS DUNNE: In relation to the enlarged Cotter Dam, minister, we have seen that the capital costs have blown out to $363 million. Does that include the cost of remediation, and what are the ongoing running costs for an enlarged Cotter Dam?

MR CORBELL: Costs for remediation, if I recall correctly, are included in that overall figure, but I will confirm that for the member. In relation to the running costs, I will take that question on notice and provide that information.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Hunter?

MS HUNTER: Given that Actew’s water future analysis shows that the two major water security projects, the Cotter Dam and the Googong pipeline, are only estimated to provide Canberra with water security until 2034, does the government support public statements made by Mark Sullivan that indicate that Canberrans can go back to growing grass and replenishing gardens?

MR CORBELL: The intention of these water security projects, as I have just said, is to move away from the need for the water restrictions regime that we have had in place over the last few years. It is not to say that we can go back to a situation where we just use water willy-nilly, without any regard for the need to conserve it and to use water wisely. Indeed, the government has put in place permanent water conservation measures which are the equivalent of the old stage 1 and stage 2 water restrictions. So they are now permanent measures that will not change, regardless of the development of the Cotter Dam or other water security projects.

I think what Mr Sullivan was attempting to say was that we should be able to irrigate our playing fields, we should be able to irrigate our parks and open spaces and we should be able to water our gardens wisely, without suffering water restrictions. I think that is absolutely what the goal should be, and that is the objective that the government is working towards.

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