Greens promise $30 million water infrastructure program

Dominic Giannini 25 August 2020 13
Lake Burley Griffin

Water policy is front and centre of a new $33 million environment package announced by the Greens on Tuesday (25 August). Photos: Dominic Giannini.

A $30 million water infrastructure program and the creation of an ACT Water Office form part of the Greens $33 million environment election package.

The promise includes funding for new wetlands, rain gardens, ponds, swales and restoration projects for Canberra’s water catchments, and increased funding for weed removal across the city’s waterways.

A total of $800,000 over four years will be allocated to community catchment groups Waterwatch and Frogwatch, which look after the Upper Murrumbidgee and Ginninderra catchments respectively.

READ ALSO: Water harvesting project to help turn Downer into green space

“We must respect our precious water and restore our beautiful waterways,” ACT Greens Environment spokesperson and Ginninderra candidate Jo Clay said.

“Canberra is experiencing the impacts of climate change. This means we will get more severe droughts and more frequent floods.

“We need to make sure our city is adapting to cope and we need to start looking after our natural resources.”

Jo Clay

ACT Greens environmental spokesperson Jo Clay says climate change is making droughts and floods more severe.

The ACT Water Office will be used to manage, report and take action on water quality in the ACT, and will be in charge of rolling out large-scale infrastructure programs such as the current Healthy Waterways project.

The Office will cost $200,000 a year over the next four years.

An inquiry into the state of the ACT’s lakes and waterways will be conducted by the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability while an Indigenous River and Catchment Rangers program will also be implemented.

READ ALSO: Labor joins tree election battle with draft Urban Forest Strategy release

The program will allow rangers to work alongside the Indigenous community to manage water health and implement cultural and traditional knowledge into the Territory’s water management plans.

“Over a century ago, the founders of Canberra designed this city to have a reliable water supply. Yet poor urban planning and an outdated view that treats water as a waste product has led to murky, unhealthy and polluted aquatic environments,” ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said.

“The Greens are committed to protecting our environment and everything that depends on it. We need to treat water as part of the urban ecosystem, not separate from it.”

READ ALSO: Canberra Liberals promise one million trees to save the bush capital

The announcement follows last month’s $53 million policy urban biodiversity and conservation plan as the Greens set up the environment as an election battleground.

The new environment package follows the Liberal-Labor tit-for-tat over tree policy in the ACT after the Opposition promised to plant one million trees across the Territory over the next decade.

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9 Responses to Greens promise $30 million water infrastructure program
Alan Hopkins Alan Hopkins 7:21 pm 28 Aug 20

We don't need more dams in ACT

David Brown David Brown 4:16 pm 28 Aug 20

The Greens have cooperated in the destruction of Northbourne Avenue, the destruction of Civic, the creation of ugly high rise in Belconnen and Gunghalin. I am guessing the money for water will go on a pond in west Murrumbidgee.

    Alan Hopkins Alan Hopkins 7:18 pm 28 Aug 20

    What destruction of northbourne? Surely you mean it's regeneration. Northbourne is now much better than it was. Also nonsense about gunghalin. It's a great place to live.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 12:54 am 29 Aug 20

    David Brown, What! Northbourne Av looks great now with the new plantings. And as for Civic, that started to go downhill when the Mall expanded beyond the old Monaro Mall. That sucked the life out of Garema Place and the surrounds and into the Mall. Way before the Greens.

Lindy Edwards Lindy Edwards 7:49 pm 27 Aug 20

I was shocked by disrepair of the Bot gardens too. Presumably a national institution subject to the efficiency dividend...?

Gregorïo Bîskït Kïlcher Gregorïo Bîskït Kïlcher 9:15 pm 26 Aug 20

Lights for safe night time walking?

Quentin Williams Quentin Williams 7:47 pm 26 Aug 20

My comment is not related to this. I last week walked through the Botanical Gardens. Which I youst to do more frequently.I was shocked as it has sadly gone to ruin in nearly department. Previous walks are closed in the rainforest. The outback central Australia is in such neglect. The Lizard ponds that were beautiful are weed infested. This was a beautiful part of Canberra but now ,obviously there is no money for its upkeep. Anyone from ACT Greens know about this?

Joan Legge Joan Legge 3:09 pm 26 Aug 20

Stop changing the landscape then

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