Page 609 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 9 March 2011

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improvements to processes in the Hume medical centre, but nothing that you would not have imagined within the first year of operating a new service.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: I assume this might go to the Minister for Health as well. Minister, have you been approached by any current or former employees at the Alexander Maconochie Centre in relation to staff covering up missing substances or needles from the AMC medical centre?

MS GALLAGHER: No, I have not been approached directly. I had a conversation with my chief executive this morning about some concerns that a staff member has raised and they are being investigated.

Water—Murray-Darling Basin

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water. Can the minister advise the Assembly about the progress to get a fair deal for the ACT from the Murray-Darling Basin plan?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. The government has been working very hard on this issue of making sure the ACT gets a fair deal under proposals for the draft Murray-Darling Basin plan when it is released later this year. The government maintains its commitment to a healthy basin and that has been the core of all of our water management practices in the territory since self-government. But there are fundamental problems with the way the guide to the basin plan has been developed when it comes to the ACT. To that end I have undertaken a series of meetings over the past months to advance the ACT’s position and to get key decision makers to recognise that there are key elements of the proposals insofar as they affect the territory that simply need to change.

To that end I have met with the commonwealth Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, and I have asked Mr Burke to have regard to the key concerns of the territory in the guide to the basin plan, concerns that we believe are valid and which, if these proposals are implemented, will see a significant reduction in the amount of water available to the territory, water which will not be sufficient for growth and water that will either impose significant cost on the territory and its economy or alternatively will result in long scale water reductions.

Further, I have also made submissions to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority directly and to the House of Representatives committee inquiry into the basin plan being chaired by Mr Tony Windsor MP. I appeared before that committee on 23 February this year and gave evidence before the committee in public hearing outlining the territory’s concern. I have also met with the new chair of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Mr Craig Knowles. I am grateful for the time he has spent with me and my officials and I have to report that the meeting was a very productive one and I believe

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