Water Week

EWN Publishing

Federal Finance and Administration portfolio water usage figures for each financial year since 1 July 2000

Posted by waterweek on 18 September 2007

Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, answering written questions from Labor MP Anna Burke addressed to the Minister for Finance and Administration, said in the Federal House of Representatives on 11 September 2007 it was impossible to accurately detail water consumption figures for that portfolio because of a number of shared tenancies and limitations on metering facilities.

Available figures: “However,” Costello said, “data is available on water usage for Finance’s occupancy within the John Gorton and Treasury buildings from financial years 2003-04 to 2006-07, with figures shown below. The increase in the number of staff and the size of the tenancies has contributed directly to the increase in the water consumed.”

Financial Years Consumption(Litres)

Water usage reduction measures: Turnbull said: “The measures instigated, since 1 July 2000, to reduce water usage in the main office buildings managed by Finance in the ACT include:

• Waterless urinal systems are currently on trial;

• Progressive installation of water flow control fittings in taps and showers;

• Installation of dripper systems with timers for the four small irrigated courtyards;

• Use of dual flush toilets;

• Installation of water meters on cooling towers and data logger water meters on mains supply lines; and

• Regular checks of storm water drains, toilets, taps and pressure relief valves on hot water systems for leaks and the routine periodic changing of seals; installation of water meters on cooling towers and data logger water meters on mains supply lines; and regular checks of storm water drains, toilets, taps and pressure relief valves on hot water systems for leaks and the routine periodic changing of seals.”

Australian Electoral Commission: “The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) leases all of its properties,” Turnbull continued. “For the majority of leases, the requested information is not directly available to the AEC’s outsourced property provider. The AEC has not instigated any water usage reduction measures.”

Australian Reward Investment Alliance: “Australian reward Investment Alliance (ARIA) leases space in commercial premises and the requested information is not available to ARIA,” said Turnbull. “Although ARIA does not control water usage in the building in which it leases, all ARIA employees are encouraged to minimise water use whenever possible.

ComSuper: (1) “ComSuper leases its premises from a private owner, and is unable to report water consumption by financial year, due to the metering periods determined by the supplier, Turnbull said. “However, the available data is as follows.”

Period Consumption (Litres)

“The data provided from 5 December 2001 to 13 June 2006 represents the nine wings of Cameron Offices, and the data from 13 June 2006 to 12 March 2007 represents only the wings of Cameron Offices occupied by ComSuper. ComSuper is unable to source the information for the period 12 March to 30 June 2007, as the water supplier has not issued these figures as yet. A number of discussions have been conducted between ComSuper and the owner of the leased premises to consider water saving initiatives, including installing dual flush cisterns. To date, new initiatives have not been implemented; however ComSuper is working with the owner to progress these activities,” Turnbull said.

Future Fund Management Agency: Turnbull said: “Future Fund Management Agency (FFMA) does not have access to this information as the building managers monitor water usage across the building, not specifically the FFMA tenancy. FFMA has installed dual flush capability in the disabled facilities constructed during fit out of the tenancy.”

Commonwealth Grants Commission: “Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC). Usage records for the CGC are available only from the 2002-03 year,” said Turnbull. “Prior to that year, the water accounts were paid by the owners/agents of the building and since then, there has been a change in the agent serving the owner and the Commission. The available figures on water consumption are as follows. The increase in water usage in 2006-07 reflects retrieval of staff from another premise, for which water usage was part of rental costs and therefore not obtainable.

Financial Years Consumption (Litres)

“Although not required for reporting purposes, the Commission is mindful of its need to minimise all energy and water usage. CGC staff are vigilant in reporting faulty taps and toilets immediately, and minimising waste by ensuring taps are turned off correctly. Due to the age of the building, dual flush toilets have been installed on an opportunity basis, when cisterns require replacement. The dishwasher is used only when full. In May 2006, old shower heads were replaced with water miser heads, to reduce the flow. The small garden areas at the front and rear of the building contain established trees and a few native plantings. They are not watered and rely on rainfall only.”

Reference: Anna Burke, Member for Chisholm, Australian Labor Party, House of Representatives, Commonwealth; Peter Costello, Treasurer, Member for Higgins, Liberal Party of Australia, House of Representatives, Commonwealth, 11 September 2007.

Erisk Net, 11/9/2007


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