Page 3645 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 13 September 2017

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These projects have both the practical effect of reducing the inflow of rubbish materials into our stormwater drains and subsequently our waterways and also enabling others to see what they can do on their properties, in their homes and in their suburbs to help contribute to healthier Canberra waterways.

MS ORR: Minister, how will the education campaign help to improve the health of Canberra’s waterways?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for her interest in our environment. Education programs form a vital part of the healthy waterways program and contribute greatly to the cleaning up of Canberra’s waterways. By providing Canberrans with information on how different items going down the drains can affect and damage our local waterways, the ACT government is working with local residents to reduce this inflow.

We want to get the message out about the impact pollutants entering our lakes and rivers have and provide simple and accessible fact sheets on what residents can do to help. Everything from raking up leaves on their nature strips to ensuring that cars or other vehicles are not leaking oil into the gutter are some of the simple things that households can do to help protect our waterways.

Further, through the grant project and our partnership with Open Gardens Canberra, people will be able to visit the sites to see firsthand how others are re-designing their gardens to make better use of water, minimise contaminated run-off and ensure that only rain goes the stormwater drain.

Lastly, the drain art project, comprising artwork, will draw pedestrians’ attention to, and subsequently change, what we do in the streets and on our blocks at home. Rubbish, cigarette butts, leaves, chemicals and oil all wash down our stormwater drains and end up in our lakes and rivers. The artwork will also help people visiting the Civic area make a clear and visual connection to what goes those particular stormwater drains that lead directly to Lake Burley Griffin, on into the Molonglo river and eventually downstream to the Murrumbidgee River.

Mr Barr: Madam Speaker, I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Language of debate

Statement by Speaker

MADAM SPEAKER: Earlier today Mr Coe moved a motion on mother language, and two members spoke in Korean and Tongan, as I understand. As noted in House of Representatives Practice, although there is no specific rule set down, the house follows the practice of requiring members to speak in English. The reason for this is so that members and those listening are able to follow the debate. It is unlikely that the chair, for example—in this case, me, given that I do not speak Tongan or Korean—would be able to follow that debate.

You provided Hansard with a copy of the text straight after the speeches and thank you for that. I do not want to hamper debate; we are a progressive, diverse Assembly.

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