The Commissioner, Professor Kate Auty, provided the report: The Heroic and the Dammed – Lower Cotter Catchment Restoration Evaluation, to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage on 20 December 2018. It was tabled in the Legislative Assembly and released on 14 February 2019.
The report responds to Recommendation 12 of the Auditor-General’s Report No. 3/15, to evaluate restoration against ongoing management goals and report on priorities for the next decade.
It provides an update on the implementation status of all twelve recommendations from the Auditor-General’s Report, the seven recommendations from the subsequent Standing Committee on Public Accounts Report, and a broad evaluation of restoration against the key management objectives contained in the Lower Cotter Catchment Reserve Management Plan 2018. These are:
- to protect existing and future domestic water supply,
- to conserve the natural environment, and
- to provide for public use of the areas for education, research and low impact recreation.
Additionally, to support future evaluations and statutory reporting against management objectives and actions, this report provides a framework to monitor and evaluate water quality and ecological values over time and under changing environmental and economic conditions.
The Commissioner has made five recommendations, broadly relating to:
- Monitoring and Evaluation Implementation,
- Funding and Resources Commitment,
- Governance Improvements,
- Coordination of Efforts, and
- Legislative Interventions.
The ACT Government has six months from the 14 February 2019 to provide a response to the recommendations in this report.