Page 2042 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 June 2015

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particularly to coordinate the management of the streams and lakes of the ACT. This was highlighted in the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment’s 2012 report, the State of water courses and catchments for Lake Burley Griffin, and the report by the Chief Minister’s task force, the Lake Burley Griffin action plan 2012.

This legislation will establish the ACT and Region Catchment Management Coordination Group. The bill will be a new part, part 7A, of the Water Resources Act 2007. The bill relates closely to the objects of the Water Resources Act. The key object of the Water Resources Act is to provide for sustainable management of the water resources of the territory.

The role and function of the Catchment Management Coordination Group is not regulatory. It is instead advisory to the Minister for the Environment on a range of matters and issues that affect catchment planning and management. Some of the matters that the group is likely to consider include: (a) priorities for water catchment management in the ACT and the surrounding upper Murrumbidgee region; (b) actions or strategies to build partnerships, manage or develop activities and share information with the commonwealth and New South Wales governments and their agencies, including any investment opportunities; (c) actions or strategies to improve water catchment health; (d) actions or strategies to coordinate investment in relation to water catchment management with the commonwealth or New South Wales or their agencies; (e) likely impacts of proposed developments or events on water catchment management in the ACT and the Australian capital water catchment region; and (f) actions or strategies for a proposed development or event to address likely impacts on water catchment management.

As the relevant minister under the legislation, I must consider the advice provided by the group. The coordination group will be required to provide an annual report and the minister must, within 21 days after receiving the report, table here in the Assembly the report and a statement by the minister responding to any advice given or recommended to the minister.

The group will have representation from the ACT government, the commonwealth through the National Capital Authority as the manager of Lake Burley Griffin, the New South Wales government and from the local government areas of Queanbeyan City Council, Yass Valley Council, Palerang Shire Council and Cooma-Monaro Shire Council. It will also have representation from Icon Water, which has a vital interest in ensuring water security and water quality, water management issues and projects.

ACT government representation will be at the director-general level from the following directorates: Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development; Environment and Planning; Health; and Territory and Municipal Services. The Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency will also be a member.

There is also a clear need to involve the community in effective catchment management. As such the group will have a representative of the community’s interests in water catchment management. The group will also require relevant skills and knowledge; hence it will be a requirement that any person from outside government appointed to the group must have appropriate knowledge and experience

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