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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3139..


MS DUNDAS (continuing):

your government taken to ensure that our lake shores remain free from development and retain public access and amenity?

MR QUINLAN: My own opinion-and that is what you are getting now-is that those lake shores should not be considered totally sacrosanct or be barred from development. There is a raft of amenity that can flow from those lakes. You know, they are man-made lakes; we are not preserving something out of our environmental heritage. In fact, a lot of those areas look quite stark and barren, particularly at this time of the year. If you took a vox pop around Canberra about what people would like to see on the lake, I think you would find they would like to see more activity and more life.

I think the lakes should be protected and kept clean. If there are areas that abut wetlands or other parts of our environmental heritage or are part of the environmental diversity of the place and add to Canberra, we should preserve them. But I do not think we should have this prohibitive mindset. There is room for making those bodies of water available and open for the people of Canberra to enjoy.

Precious few Canberrans seem to access those lakes. There is certainly sailing and rowing, and we have Weston Park and a couple of other places and, in the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin, Commonwealth Place, where there is one restaurant and one portrait gallery. But there is room for us to have a variety of environments around those lakes-while still keeping them clean, making them a genuine part of a vibrant city.

MS DUNDAS: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, I think you need to spend more time around Lake Ginninderra if you think the lake is barren. I draw your attention to the front page of the Belconnen Chronicle of 10 October 2000, where the now Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, was quoted as saying that the Ginninderra lake shore plan was "nothing more than a land sale plan for the shores of Lake Ginninderra". He went on to mention that the land was part of the identity of Belconnen.

Now that the Labor Party is in government, and has been for 21/2 years, will the minister commit to protecting open space at the west of Lake Ginninderra and redoing the Belconnen lake shore plan accordingly?

MR QUINLAN: I am not going to make any commitments until I see what the proposals are. You can make a comment about a land grab, and there is a lot of room to move between that and saying from that that nothing will be built anywhere near any lake in Canberra at any time. There is a little bit of scope there. We intend to investigate propositions that might arise within that scope.

Koalas

MR CORNWELL: My question is to the Minister for Environment, Mr Stanhope. Minister, I refer to your recently announced proposal to consider the importation of koalas-those nice, little furry animals that live in trees and that apparently have weak bladders-from other states and territories, including Kangaroo Island, to restock the Tidbinbilla nature reserve.

In 1966 I put a similar proposal to the minister for the environment, who looked into the issue and found it would not be practicable, principally because at least the King Island


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