The Property Council of Australia urges the ACT Government to build a new dam in the ACT to support urgently-needed population growth and economic prosperity.
The Property Council of Australia’s ACT executive director, Catherine Carter, said a report by Engineers Australia - released this week – supports the Property Council’s firmly-held view that an expanded water storage facility in the form of a new dam is essential for the ACT’s economic future.
Ms Carter said the obvious way forward is for the ACT Government to strengthen the territory’s long-term water infrastructure. A population of 500,000 by 2030 will not be achievable without essential services.
“The report by Engineers Australia recognises that growth will be difficult - if not impossible - if we lack such basic infrastructure as a reliable water supply,” Ms Carter said.
“The Government should not ignore this latest call for urgent solutions to the shortfall in water supplies in the longer-term. It is difficult to imagine any new large-scale investment to create new industries and jobs in Canberra if there is not enough water. This is one of the most basic requirements.”
Ms Carter said Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has been too hasty in rejecting the report by Engineers Australia, despite overwhelming evidence that Canberra’s water storage facilities will not be able to cope with any expanded localised population.
An expanded population is needed to attract new business investment, and this view has recently been endorsed by one of the most influential arms of the ACT Government, the Department of Economic Development.
The 2004 strategy by ACTEW Corporation, Think water, act water - a strategy for sustainable water resources management
, contains little that is new or innovative in Canberra’s struggle to provide a long-term and viable water infrastructure.
“We continue to support a new dam for the ACT because any other water option is only a short-term solution,” Ms Carter said. “We must confront this lack of water infrastructure head-on and not simply hope that it will go away by magic.”
“We now have conclusive research by one of Australia’s peak organisations that our water storage facilities are not up to the job,” Ms Carter said. “It would be a fatal mistake to ignore or dismiss the findings by this independent and professional organisation.”
Catherine Carter, Executive Director, 02 6248 6902 or 0412 330 079