Page 2107 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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Mr Corbell presented the following papers:

Criminal Proceedings Legislation Amendment Bill 2011—Revised explanatory statement.

Financial Management Act, pursuant to section 30E—Half-yearly departmental performance report—December 2010—Department of Justice and Community Safety—Amendment.

Environment—Murray-Darling Basin plan

Paper and statement by minister

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services): For the information of members, I present the following paper pursuant to a resolution of the Assembly of 27 October 2010:

Murray-Darling Basin Authority—Proposed Basin Plan—ACT Government Six Month Report on Progress with the ACT’s Basin Plan Negotiations, dated May 2011.

This paper was circulated to members when the Assembly was not sitting. I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. In line with the Assembly resolution on 27 October last year, I am pleased to table in the Assembly today a six-month progress report on the ACT’s negotiations on the proposed Murray-Darling Basin plan.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the MDBA, released its guide to the proposed basin plan in October last year. The guide identified the ACT’s sustainable diversion limit, or SDL area, within the broader Murrumbidgee River catchment. The guide estimated current surface water and groundwater use for all SDL areas across the basin. It then proposed a range of reductions from current levels of use to the new SDLs to deliver the quantum of water required to meet the needs of environmental sites across the basin.

The guide estimated current ACT surface water use to be 51 gigalitres per year, consisting of 12 gigalitres per year intercepted by farm dams and forestry plantations and 39 gigalitres per year of watercourse diversions from Actew dams. The watercourse diversions are a net volume. That is the volume of actual diversions minus the volume of treated sewage effluent returned to the river system.

The guide proposed substantial reductions of between 26 and 34 per cent of the ACT’s current surface water use, or 34 to 45 per cent if water is only taken from watercourse diversions—that is, water taken from Actew dams only. This would take

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