Page 327 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012
Our 10-point action plan has a series of very practical steps in at. I am pleased now that in the parliamentary agreement with the Labor Party we have a commitment to move that forward. I am particularly pleased that the government has been able to negotiate with the commonwealth the release of those funds that Mr Corbell spoke of. That will actually provide us with the funding to get on with it.
It is important that we do not spend a whole lot of time, now that the money is available, dithering over the setting up of a catchment authority. Clearly, it is important to get it right at the start, but we need to get that money and spend it on the measures that are available. Some of those are very practical and immediate—things like investigating macrophyte restoration and curbing the impact of willows. There is a clear willow management plan for Lake Burley Griffin, but it needs more funds to be fully implemented. Another would be the management of carp. That example is one of those really frustrating ones. Our lakes are home to extensive populations of carp and they create ripe conditions for algal blooms. A carp reduction plan for Canberra was developed in 2010, but no funding has been committed for its implementation. It only needs around $185,000 over four years to make it effective. If we work closely with groups like the fishing groups in Canberra—they are very keen to assist on some of those projects—I think we can get a lot done for not a large amount of money.
The imperative now is to get on with it, to say it is time that we began to turn the lakes around. I look forward to working closely with the government on this one, certainly in my capacity as the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. I will be working with my directorate to play a significant part.
Some of the things that will help fix the lake are quite simple. The commissioner identified the opportunity to change street sweeping regimes. I know we discussed this yesterday in Mr Coe’s motion but this is particularly in the context of ensuring that, in the $1 million we spend annually on street sweeping, suburban leaf litter does not end up down the drains. It has been identified as a major cause of pollution in our lakes. It is a source of significant nutrients and, by modifying the existing street sweeping regime, the commissioner has indicated that that would be a thing that could be done that would help improve the quality of our waterways. There are a lot of positives in this story. Clearly, the lake is in a bad state, but there is a lot we can get done. I think it is important that we get on and get it done as soon as possible.
Motion by (Mr Corbell) proposed:
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.41): Given that we all did big farewells just before the election, I am going to try and set a trend here and be very quick. I am sure that we