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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (15 March) . . Page.. 680..


Air crash in Yogyakarta

Mulligans Flat and Goorooyarroo nature reserves

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.08): Mr Speaker, it is a pity Ms MacDonald has left because she would probably be interested to know—following on from a couple of days ago when I mentioned Sekai Holland, one of the Zimbabwean democracy leaders who was detained—that it has been found that Sekai Holland was beaten up very seriously. She was jumped on, and her ribs were broken, by someone wearing big boots, and, after many hours of torture, an arm and a leg were broken. So she appears to have been singled out for the worst punishment of all the leadership, with the exception of Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost more blood and could have been killed with the blows to the head that he experienced.

So there are concerns there. I urge members to write to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, as I did, and ask him to put pressure on other African governments, because it seems they are the ones with the ability to act. I thought members would be interested in that.

I also want to mention something else that perhaps comes closer to home, and that is the loss last week of two Canberra women in the terrible air accident in Yogyakarta—women we could not afford to lose: Allison Sudrajat from AusAID and Liz O'Neill from DFAT. They were women who were climbing up the ladder and, as we know, it is so difficult for women to do that, especially women with children. My daughter attended Deakin high school with one of Allison Sudrajat's children and I know that people in AusAID, especially women working there, are very much lamenting her loss. Liz O'Neill has been spoken about more in the press because she was a friend of Chris Uhlmann who, of course, as we know, has a strong voice.

Finally, to go local, last night I went to the Gungahlin Community Council meeting, and I want to show that when there is good news from the government I mention it. There was a presentation there on the Mulligans Flat and Goorooyarroo nature reserves and, most particularly, an initiative that is occurring called BOB, which is short for bush on the boundary. This is a really interesting place where suburban development is pushing up against Australia's most significant area of Blakely's red gum and yellow box forest. There are some very exciting experiments going on there which will also help people understand how to restore vegetation and, hopefully, the native wildlife to very degraded places like this.

One of the issues that was most eloquently spoken about was the long-necked freshwater turtle, which—did you know?—is very abundant in that area. A notice was put in Gunsmoke, the Gungahlin Community Council newsletter, asking people, if they sight one of these things, dead or alive, on the road to report it. In a month or so 70 reports have come in. What is interesting is that they map where these animals are found and, significantly, they were found particularly close to Yerrabi Pond and to other ponds.

The Forde development is part of the bush on the boundary reference group, which also includes the Ginninderra catchment group, the conservation council, UCAN,

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