Page 1853 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 4 May 2011

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Amendments agreed to.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): The question now is that the motion, as amended, be agreed to.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (5.57): Thank you, members, for your contributions. This has been an important matter brought before the Assembly. There have been some criticisms from the government and they do bear responding to. Mrs Dunne has had discussions with the ICRC about this issue and has been quite thoughtful in bringing this forward. Her view, and that of Mr Rattenbury and, I assume, the ICRC with whom she has had discussions as well, is that they do have sufficient information across the broad range of issues that need to be examined within this inquiry.

Although there are obviously matters that are ongoing, be it with wetlands or be it with the Murray-Darling Basin plan, there is sufficient information for the ICRC to conduct an inquiry that will be invaluable to the members of this Assembly, noting also that with the Greens’ amendment, the reporting time for the inquiry is just under a year away, which will certainly provide the ICRC with sufficient time to examine all the issues available. As I said in my tabling speech, the March 2012—

Mr Corbell: 2011.

MR HANSON: No, the amendment has 2012. The government has adopted a piecemeal approach to water use in the city, and there is concern from numerous groups, including the Canberra Liberals and the Greens, that some of these aspects have not been well considered. This includes a number of the urban waterway and stormwater—

At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MR HANSON: We have seen a range of water security measures put in place by the government, but there has certainly been a lack of analysis of the measures, how they tie together and what the impacts of those measures will be economically, socially and environmentally. What Mrs Dunne has sought to achieve by bringing this motion to the Assembly with the intent of having an inquiry by the ICRC is to have a comprehensive and considered look at these issues and how they interplay together. There is no doubt that the ICRC is well positioned to conduct such an inquiry.

Madam Assistant Speaker, the government, through its Territory-owned Corporations Act, is spending more than half a billion dollars to secure Canberra’s water supply. The projects have been well discussed in this place. So this is an issue not only of great importance environmentally but financially. But also, I think there can be few more important issues than that of Canberra’s water supply. Having this examination of it is certainly appropriate.

Given the context of this occurring within the framework of the Murray-Darling Basin plan, which is to report, as I understand, later this year, it is an important issue as we

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