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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 August 2015) . . Page.. 2867 ..

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his supplementary. Yes, I can advise the Assembly that in fact there are over 150 possible water quality improvement options that have been identified as part of the basin priority project to date. These include options to slow down water flow and promote sedimentation such as urban wetlands, swales, naturalisation of concrete stormwater channels.

Other options include mechanical infrastructure such as stormwater treatment systems, gross pollutant traps and the co-location of water for use as irrigation as an alternative to potable water supply. For example, in the Lake Tuggeranong catchment, studies have shown on occasion that Lake Tuggeranong suffers from very high nutrient levels in stormwater run-off from its surrounding urban areas and when this occurs the lake is closed for swimming and other uses due to blue-green algal blooms.

Options for the Lake Tuggeranong catchment include constructed wetlands and ponds, stormwater harvesting and reuse for irrigating playing fields and other green open spaces, upgrading and retrofitting the existing gross pollutant traps. There are also a range of in-lake options such as floating wetlands, submerged bubblers, inflow baffles, aeration fountains and in-lake reticulation systems.

I think what you can see there is that this government is embarking on a very comprehensive program to improve water quality in areas like Lake Tuggeranong. I know my colleagues from Brindabella are very keen to see this work progressed.

Equally, the work that is happening in the Yarralumla Creek catchment, in the Woden Valley, is very important for a catchment that has very little sedimentation control and significant levels of pollution flowing directly into that part of the Molonglo. So there are great opportunities to improve water quality and improve our natural environment.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, can you outline how the community has been consulted on the options developed?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her supplementary. Yes, there has been very extensive community consultation to date, and that is ongoing. We are holding two open house consultations in each of the catchment areas that I have mentioned. For example, between 28 July and 6 August there were two open house consultation meetings in each of those catchment areas that I mentioned. These were very well attended. They informed the community about their local catchment and its water quality issues and allowed people to give their views on which options would work for their catchment and community.

In addition, an electronic open house has been running, where people can give their comments online through the Environment and Planning Directorate website. All of the material at the open house sessions is also available online, including the complete list of treatment options for each of the catchments and also background on the water quality issues in each of those catchments. That feedback is able to continue to be received online until early September.

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