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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (16 November) . . Page.. 3588..


Ministerial arrangements

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra-Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts): For the information of members, the Minister for Planning and Attorney-General is on official duties elsewhere today and is unable to take questions. The Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Gallagher, is happy to seek to assist members if they have questions that they would otherwise have directed to Mr Corbell.

Questions without notice

Arboretum

MR STEFANIAK: My question is directed to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, I refer to your plans to plant trees for the controversial arboretum project. You intend to plant a thousand Wollemi pines. Dr Chris McElhinny considers that this is not a wise choice for a number of reasons, including that these pines are not fire resistant. Why are you planting a thousand trees that are not fire resistant on the outskirts of Canberra, given that it is supposed to be a buffer zone?

MR STANHOPE: The species of trees identified for the arboretum were identified through a subcommittee of the arboretum in a board chaired, I believe, by Professor Peter Kanowski. Professor Peter Kanowski, as members would be aware, is a nationally recognised and highly esteemed professor of forestry at the Australian National University. He chaired a subcommittee, which was composed of a number of other significant Canberrans and experts, including a number of others with particular expertise in issues of forestry and trees, and matters of that nature, including Dr Robert Boden and Ms Sherry McArdle-English-people with significant expertise in and understanding of plantations and trees.

As Ms Sherry McArdle-English has indicated in a recent letter to the editor, she is the owner and operator of the single largest private planting of an exotic species of tree within the Australian Capital Territory-mainly English oaks-at her property in the Majura Valley. She was a member of a subcommittee chaired by Professor Kanowski.

As I indicated in response to a question on Tuesday, I am not an arborist or a forester. The interim board was chaired by Sandy Hollway and included a number of very significant Canberrans-Lloyd Whish-Wilson, Jim Murphy and significant others. I am not quite sure whether Jim Murphy is in favour with all members of the opposition these days. Mr Jim Murphy-

Mr Hargreaves: Only 250 of them, perhaps.

MR STANHOPE: I think he might be in your camp, Mr Stefaniak. Mr Jim Murphy, as a member of that board, was one of those that advised the government on the species of trees that might be planted. It was a subcommittee chaired, as I say, by Professor Peter Kanowski.

Mr Mulcahy: So you have him cutting grapes.


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