Water has no borders–managing our regional landscapes and water health together

Released 29/08/2016

A new multi-jurisdictional 30-year strategy was released today to improve the economic and environmental outcomes for our local and regional waterways and landscapes.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Change said the strategy was developed to encourage a holistic response to projected population growth and climate change effects.  

“As the ACT and surrounding areas grow, so does our need to improve water and land management practices to make sure we have clean thriving waterways for current and future generations to enjoy,” Mr Corbell said.  

“Our population as a region is forecast to increase by 36% over the next 15 years, which, without good management, could have negative impacts on our natural environment and place strains on our water infrastructure and environment.

“Water has no borders, so it is essential that we take a regional approach to managing our waterways.

“The new strategy details the key factors affecting the catchment over the next 30 years, and what actions can be put in place to minimise the negative effects on our land and waterways.”

Some of these actions include:

  • a stormwater education program targeting behaviours negatively impacting water quality in our lakes and waterways
  • working towards an integrated approach to manage pressures on waste water management facilities in the ACT and Queanbeyan
  • managing the dumping of soil waste from construction sites across the ACT and NSW by aligning legislation and enforcement
  • developing a regional emergency response plan to quickly respond and manage incidents in our catchments

The ACT and Region Catchment Management Coordination Group , which was formed last year, is chaired by Emeritus Professor Ian Falconer and includes representatives from the Australian, ACT and NSW Governments, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Snowy-Monaro and Yass Valley regional councils, Icon Water and the local community.

The group is tasked with establishing the strategy, including principles for cross-border governance and actions to ensure we manage water resources effectively.

“Our coordinated approach to catchment management has resulted in a wealth of experience, information and data combining for a shared purpose and outcome,” Mr Corbell said.

“By being proactive we are already seeing better planning and more effective use of financial and human resources, ultimately maximising what the catchment has to offer.”

Professor Falconer said the draft strategy was developed in a spirit of great cooperation between the various jurisdictions and with the community and stakeholders.

“The strategy provides a vision and mechanism for government, community and industry to work together to produce a healthy, productive, resilient and liveable catchment,” Prof Falconer said.

“In recognition of the strong connections between the community and their catchment, the comments received during community consultation helped to refine the actions and ensure the strategy met local needs.”  

The ACT Government is taking the lead role in a raft of water management projects across the Territory and region.  In addition to the draft ACT and Region Catchment Strategy, the Basin Priority Project will see up to $93.5 million from the ACT and Australian governments invested in water quality infrastructure.  

The Catchment Strategy can be found at www.environment.act.gov.au

- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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