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 permanent water restrictions. The residents of the ACT and Queanbeyan pay the highest urban water prices in the nation. It is only recently, with the drought now in its eighth year, that the ACT Government has started to address some supply issues.
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.
- The Alliance recognises the need for a range of extra water supply options for the ACT to secure our water supply, such as the proposed pipeline from the (upper) Murrumbidgee River at Angle Crossing to the Googong Dam and an enlarged Lower Cotter Dam on the grounds of increasing water security at a reasonable cost. Other options will be thoroughly investigated and reviewed.
- The Alliance will halt the proposed water purification plant at the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre and the proposed desalination plant until there has been a satisfactory demonstration of the need, economic viability and safety for people and the environment.
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.
- 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, the legality of which is currently before the High Court.
- The Alliance supports effective measures to minimise water wastage by government, industry and households.
- The Alliance will seek to ensure new developments install individual water meters for every household and business.
- The Alliance will seek to remove the subsidy for household rainwater tanks, but those who want a rainwater tank will be able to install one.