Lake Burley Griffin is an integral part of Walter Burley Griffin's design for Canberra and is a vital and key element in the plan for the National Capital (National Capital Development Commission, 1981 and 1988). The Lake (which was created in 1964) is not only one of the centrepieces of Canberra's plan in its own right but also forms the immediate foreground of the Parliamentary Zone.

Lying within the National Capital Open Space System (NCOSS), the Lake is part of the nationally significant open space framework, visual backdrop and landscape setting for the National Capital, and contributes to the system that protects the environmental quality of the city.

The Lake's overall management is guided by the principles and policies of the National Capital Plan, the Lake Burley Griffin Management Plan 1995, the Lake Burley Griffin and Adjacent Lands Heritage Management Plan, and the Lake Burley Griffin Recreation Policy 2017. The Lake Burley Griffin Management Plan 1995 (LBGMP1995) acknowledges a range of uses for the Lake, consistent with the policies of the NCP.

The above policies direct that the water quality and hydraulic operation of the Lake be maintained in a manner that protects the Lake and its foreshores, as well as their visual and symbolic roles. Should the water quality of the Lake not be managed effectively, these functions and values could be compromised, leading to stakeholder and community dissatisfaction.

Need for a Plan

The NCA manages comprehensive water quality programs to monitor the water quality conditions against parameters set out in ANZECC/ARMCANZ Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (2000), prepared under the National Water Quality Management Strategy.

One of the key outcomes of the ANZECC/ARMCANZ (2000) guidelines is to develop site-specific water quality guidelines and management plans, tailored to local conditions.

It is therefore critical that the Lake management strategies include the development of a Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) to address those issues.

Structure of the Document

The document contains the following:

  • Introductory Sections
  • Part 1: Explanatory Paper- The Explanatory Paper provides the background information for the development of the Water Quality Management Plan and outlines:
    • the context for which the Water Quality Management Plan has been formulated, including the functions and uses of the Lake;
    • the summary of Lake Burley Griffin's water quality, using the results of a monitoring program from 1981 to 2009; and
    • the process used in the development of benchmark values.
  • Part 2: Management Response- The Water Quality Management Plan summarises the benchmark values, which then help to detect possible threats to water quality in terms of public health and environmental management. The Water Quality Management Plan provides details of:
    • recommended benchmark water quality values for key water quality indicators;
    • an overview of the water quality monitoring programs;
    • actions arising from the management of pollutants;
    • communications;
    • use of legislation; and
    • roles and responsibilities.
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Appendices