WATER (P4b)

The Community Alliance Party believes that the ACT is able to provide enough water to supply the existing population of the ACT and Queanbeyan.

As a result of underinvestment, mismanagement, and financial diversions by recent governments, ACT residents have been confronted by spiralling prices and semi-permanent water restrictions. The residents of the ACT and Queanbeyan pay the highest urban water prices in the nation.

The Alliance will work with scientists, engineers, governments, and the community to develop an effective long-term strategic plan for water in the ACT that addresses security of supply, demand management strategies, and equitable pricing.

Water security

The Alliance recognises the need for a range of extra water supply options for the ACT to secure our long-term water supply in an era of climate change.
The Alliance will improve the security of the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre to strengthen defences from the dangers exposed by the 2003 Canberra Bushfires.

Water and the environment

The Alliance supports an adequate allocation of water for environmental flows.
The Alliance will seek a thorough examination of the quality of water entering and leaving the ACT, including the amounts and sources of salts leaving the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre, and will review various options for waste water treatment (including sewage).
The Alliance will work with the Commonwealth Government to provide adequate water for important facilities, including the Australian National Botanical Gardens.
The Alliance recognises the value of trees, gardens, parks and sporting ovals in Canberra's urban environment, and the need for responsible water allocation to these uses.
The Alliance will review current water quality monitoring arrangements to ensure that they provide a timely, comprehensive, and accurate measurement of the water quality of the ACT's lakes and rivers. In particular, it supports stronger efforts to reduce the incidence of dangerous blue-green algae blooms on Lake Burley Griffin and elsewhere.
The Alliance supports the gradual introduction wetlands on the urban fringe to improve the natural treatment of waste water, reduce the dangers of flooding and bushfire, and promote the diversity of wildlife.

Water pricing

The Alliance will explore measures to ensure that the cost of water for ACT residents is fair and reasonable.
The Alliance will abolish unnecessary and inequitable charges on water use, including the Water Abstraction Charge and the Utilities (Network Facilities) Tax.

Water wastage

The Alliance supports effective measures to minimise water wastage by government, industry and households.
The Alliance will ensure that individual water meters are installed for every household and/or business.