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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 1865..


MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Mr Pratt?

MR PRATT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, what action have you taken to ensure that the analyses in the functional review that have been questioned are being corrected?

MR STANHOPE: I do not know of a single analysis that has been questioned or that needs questioning.

Kangaroos

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Chief Minister in his capacity as minister for the environment. Minister, could you update the Assembly on issues of kangaroo management at both the Majura training area and the Belconnen naval station?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms MacDonald for her question. I think members of the Assembly would be aware of issues that the ACT government is facing in relation to the management by the Department of Defence of lands in the Majura Valley and at Lawson. These are issues of continuing and growing concern to the ACT government. As members would know, the Department of Defence applied for and was granted by Environment ACT licences to cull excessive numbers of eastern grey kangaroos at the Majura training area and the Belconnen naval transmission station to reduce the number of eastern grey kangaroos on both those sites.

Defence now has a licence to keep 160 kangaroos on the Belconnen site and it is currently estimated that there are of the order of 550 kangaroos on that site. I am sure members would know that the licence was issued in response to a request from the Department of Defence to cull 400 kangaroos on that site. Unfortunately, in the view of the ACT government nothing has been done by the Department of Defence since that date in response to that licence or in response to the significant concerns that the ACT government has about the potential ecological impact of overgrazing at Lawson.

Similarly, in relation to the Majura Valley, a licence was sought to cull kangaroos on that site. There are many thousands of kangaroos at Majura and it is the view of all those experts that the ACT government has consulted that the number of kangaroos at both Lawson and Majura is unsustainable and is having a particularly severe impact on the ecological system overall and on some vulnerable and endangered species.

As I indicated earlier, the ACT government sought advice from a range of specialists. We consulted the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, we consulted and received advice from the ACT Natural Resource Management Advisory Committee, and the ACT government also has available to it the views and advice of a range of experts relating to issues about lowland grassy woodland in the Australian Capital Territory, the endangered ecosystem of each of the endangered species. There is a growing fear within Environment ACT and amongst some specialists, in particular, those that have formed the Limestone Plains Group—

DR FOSKEY: Mr Speaker, there are people who are interested in the answer to Ms MacDonald's question.


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