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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 722..


MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):

and value. In the committee's view, this issue needs further consideration and should also be addressed in a national review of biosphere reserves.

A related issue concerns governance structures for biosphere reserves. The committee has learnt from its research and interstate visit that governance is a key issue for each biosphere reserve that complies with UNESCO's program guidelines by including human settlements and development areas within the biosphere. These inevitably have diverse land tenures and pre-existing governance arrangements. The committee has learnt of the challenges being addressed through the governance arrangements in the Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Foundation, which include a board, and regional roundtables that have foundation membership. These are partly a response to the geographical challenges of the area. Barkindji Biosphere Ltd is also a company managed through the board. These are not necessarily appropriate governance models for the ACT, which already has a range of functioning regional and sub-regional organisations which share commitments to sustainability. The committee has received various submissions suggesting possible governance arrangements for the ACT biosphere reserve and will make recommendations in its final report.

Following its visit to interstate biosphere reserves in March, the committee came to the view that an open national network is needed to promote linkages amongst biosphere reserve stakeholders who share a commitment to sustainable development. A national network could promote better information exchange and capacity building, and the monitoring and evaluation of biosphere reserve achievements and lesser outcomes. Effective communication mechanisms such as email lists, newsletters, brochures, linked websites and signage could facilitate the growth of such a network.

The committee regards key documents from other biosphere reserves, such as annual reports, memoranda of understanding agreed amongst stakeholders such as indigenous groups, regional bodies and local governments, and environment and industry associations, to be useful for the proposed ACT biosphere reserve, as may other emerging biosphere reserves. A network could facilitate the exchange of such documents for agreed purposes. The committee considers it important to identify these and other practical outputs and outcomes that biosphere reserves achieve and to periodically review these. Agreed monitoring and evaluation indicators and processes are needed, drawing on the Seville strategy for biosphere reserves.

Finally, I would like to thank several people who ensured that the committee's visit to the interstate biosphere reserves was both enjoyable and very useful. On behalf of the committee I thank in particular Mr Jack Krohn, James Fitzsimons, Craig Forster, John Irwin, Ken Mansell, Robin Borger, Virginia Richardson, Alison Kuiter, Jim Keryn, David Buntine, Michael Kennedy, Bill Tatnall, Michael Gilby, Ralph Kenyon, Libby Anthony, Rob Gell, Reade Smith, Ian Weir, Hanna Jaireth our secretary, Mary Goring from the committee office, Claire Bongiorno and Lydia Chung.

Public Accounts-Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo): Mr Speaker, pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. In


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