Extent of weekend flooding may have been avoided


 Neglect of Canberra’s essential stormwater assets may have exacerbated the damage caused in yesterday’s flood, Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder said today.

Last month, the Canberra Liberals raised concerns with the government’s failure to maintain Canberra’s essential stormwater assets following an Auditor-General’s report on the issue.

The report, Acceptance of Stormwater Assets, found that:

  • Flood risk mitigation work is not being undertaken, despite known risks;

  • Some stormwater infrastructure cannot cope with major rain events;

  • The government has no plans to review stormwater infrastructure; and

  • In-fill development is increasing the risk of flooding but the government is not taking action.

The Auditor-General’s report also said that established areas of Canberra had not been reassessed since development, “despite the fact that there is known flood risk in some locations” (p79, 4.94). It also noted that:

“There is an increased risk because the stormwater infrastructure in many established areas of Canberra will be unable to cope with major rain events. This is because the stormwater network has not been augmented to help manage increased or more concentrated flows from:

  • In-fill developments, such as multi-unit high rise developments (p80, 4.96)

“There are no scheduled reviews of the condition of the stormwater infrastructure in established areas.” (p82, 4.101) and that;

Where flooding occurs because of a failure of the part of the Government to augment the stormwater infrastructure to help manage increased flows as a result of developments approved by the Government, there is an increased risk of claims for compensation from people whose properties have been flooded.” (p.81, 4.110)

Quotes from Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder:

“My thoughts go out to all Canberrans who are cleaning up the mess caused in yesterday’s flood.

“The event showed us the devastating effects of the government’s inaction.

“While not as flashy as light rail and shiny laptops, maintaining stormwater assets is a vital, taxpayer funded service that the Labor-Greens government has neglected. 

“I have requested an urgent briefing from Minister Fitzharris to ensure this is an isolated event.”


Media contact Deborah Seccombe:

P (02) 6205 1580           M 0451 255 891 E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.







Opposition Leader Alistair Coe and Deputy Leader Nicole Lawder today announced the Canberra Liberals’ new shadow ministry.

Alistair Coe MLA

Leader of the Opposition
Economic Development

Nicole Lawder MLA

Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Urban Services

Andrew Wall MLA

Opposition Whip
Business and Employment
Higher Education and Training

Candice Burch MLA

Public Sector Management 

Vicki Dunne MLA


Jeremy Hanson MLA

Veterans’ Affairs

Giulia Jones MLA

Police and Emergency Services

Elizabeth Kikkert MLA

Families, Youth and Community Services
Multicultural Affairs

Elizabeth Lee MLA


James Milligan MLA

Indigenous Affairs
Sport and Recreation

Mark Parton MLA

Gaming and Racing






The Canberra Liberals are pleased to see Steve Doszpot’s bill passed in the Assembly today, Leader of the Opposition Alistair Coe said.



"Steve worked tirelessly to provide the community with stronger protections against dangerous dogs," Mr Coe said.


"He led the Canberra Liberals’ dog laws and if not for his persistence we would not have debated and passed these laws today.


"While I welcome the steps taken today to reform our dog laws, I am disappointed that the Government still wants to put dangerous dogs back into the community.



"I am disappointed that the Government watered down some of our measures with 11th hour amendments.

"In the Canberra Liberals bill, a dog must be seized and impounded during an investigation into complaints of injury, serious injury or death of a person. In cases where it is found that a dog has attacked, causing the serious injury or death of a person, the Registrar must destroy the dog.




"The Government’s amendments provide too much discretionary power to the Registrar.


"For example, the Registrar may choose to approve a license for a dog even if it is known to ‘pose an unacceptable risk to the safety of the public’.


"This is a major point of difference between our bill and the Government’s amendments.


"However, the bill is a step forward. Thank you to everyone who contacted our offices," Mr Coe concluded.



2017 has been a very busy year. Click on a month below to see what I've been doing as your local member.









What we saw today was a complete about-face from Minister Mick Gentleman.  

In Planning and Urban Renewal Committee Annual Reports hearings, he claimed that any building with Mr Fluffy loose-fill asbestos is unsafe, and must be demolished.

Later, he retracted that via twitter, saying that the commercial building in Ainslie was safe after remediation.

I say to Mr Gentleman, you can’t have it both ways. Why were nearly 1,000 Canberra homes purchased by the Labor Government and demolished, rather than home-owners being offered or allowed remediation so they could stay in their own home?

As we have seen on multiple occasions from this Labor Government, it’s one rule for some, another rule for others.

I don’t blame former Mr Fluffy home-owners who are feeling betrayed by the Government today."