Our lakes can be restored: Greens

The Commissioner for the Environment’s report on the state of Lake Burley Griffin’s watercourses and catchments was released last week. A Greens motion in March 2011 called for an inquiry to identify urban activities as the most significant source of the lake's problems.

''Over the years, there's been a lot of debate around what the real problems were with the lake. The reason we initiated this inquiry was to get to the bottom of this uncertainty,'' said Greens Environment Spokesperson Shane Rattenbury.

“It was interesting to learn that the bulk of contamination is coming from often unsuspected household sources such as garden chemicals, organic waste and pet faeces.

''Significantly, the Commissioner has identified numerous ways for us to address these causes, providing us with a much-needed road map to restore the Lake’s health.

The report makes 17 recommendations on how to improve and better manage the Lake, including mapping of urban contamination sources, improved communication strategies around lake closures and the establishment of a Burley Griffin-Molonglo-Queanbeyan catchment management agreement.

“The Greens are now developing an action plan to ensure that the Commissioner’s recommendations are thoroughly implemented and that we get our lakes back to full health.

“Our lakes are an integral part of Canberra’s beauty and lifestyle. It’s critical that we develop effective strategies to ensure its health is maintained now and into the future,” said Rattenbury.

The full report can be viewed at: http://www.envcomm.act.gov.au/investigations/lake_burley_griffin_investigation