Thursday, 30 March 2006
Statements by Members
Fisher Electorate: Community Water Grants
I am pleased to have been able to present certificates to 10 organisations recently under the Australian government’s excellent Community Water Grants program. This program was designed to encourage community groups in schools to undertake programs that will save water. Australia is the driest continent, and it really is important to have this program. While my region of Queensland has experienced very good rainfalls in recent months—and a good proportion of it over the last fortnight as a result of cyclones Larry and Wati—there remains a concern about water shortages across Australia, while much of our nation remains drought affected.
The 10 projects in my Sunshine Coast electorate will save some 30 million litres of water annually, equivalent to 30 Olympic swimming pools full of water. This is a significant amount, and it is well worth mentioning that once these programs are in place the water savings will be repeated year after year. One of the projects in particular has impressed me. The Montville State School has been awarded $29,836 under the scheme, money which will help to pay for new tanks that will capture and store rainwater from the roofs of school buildings. The water will then be treated, using an ultraviolet facility, and used for drinking water. It is amazing that on the Sunshine Coast this school currently has no reticulated drinking water. Once the project is completed, it is possible that they may well have some of the purest drinking water on the Sunshine Coast. It all comes through the thoughtful plans put in place by the Australian government. The school estimates that it will save somewhere in the vicinity of 75,000 litres annually.
Altogether, the local organisations will share in funding of almost $421,000. Funds will also go to the following groups: Buderim Wanderers Soccer Club, $49,281 to install tanks to catch rainwater for playing-field irrigation; Chancellor State College, $29,859 to reuse stormwater for field irrigation; Kawana Waters State High School, $26,940 to install 50 new dual-flush cisterns in toilets and urinal sensors in washrooms; Immanuel Lutheran College, $42,550 for a range of initiatives; Mary Creek Catchment Association, $45,380 for the rehabilitation of the riparian zone of Kilcoy Creek; Mooloolah River Waterwatch, $50,000 for fencing off sections of the Mooloolah River to cattle and then revegetating the damaged river bank; the Sunshine Coast Grammar School, $46,791 for a range of initiatives, including installing constant-flow valves and improving the standard of toilets; Siena Primary School, $50,000 for tanks to collect rainwater for use in irrigating ovals and gardens; and Siena Catholic College, $50,000 for tanks to collect rainwater to supply toilets and irrigate gardens. All of the recipients of these grants are very excited. They are enthusiastic about their grants. This program is very sensible, because it improves environmental outcomes and water conservation throughout the country. I commend this program to the House.