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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 1866..


MR SPEAKER: Order! I ask members to keep their conversations down.

MR STANHOPE: The Limestone Plains Group is an expert in, and has genuine and unquestionable expertise in, the ACT lowland woodland ecosystem and each of the species that depend on that ecosystem. It is the unanimous view of each of those specialists that this is a crisis in the making and that something simply must be done. The level of inaction and the refusal by the Department of Defence to consult and to engage is simply unacceptable.

I have written to the Minister for Defence and to the Minister for Environment and Water Resources. In fact, I have written twice to the Minister for Environment and Water Resources and my officials are seeking to engage closely with the Department of Defence and with Commonwealth officials. We have had no satisfactory response. Indeed, we have had no response. My letters have not been responded to and my officials have received no response to the ACT government's concerns about the management of these two areas and of the danger that is presented most specifically and most pressingly to the earless dragon and the golden sun moth.

It was expressed to me—admittedly it was not expressed as a scientific opinion but as a personal and growing realisation or concern—that there is the potential for the earless dragon to be rendered extinct in the Majura Valley if action is not taken. That is just an unconscionable neglect by the Department of Defence. In the view of some scientists on which the ACT government relies there is the potential that the lack of action at Majura could lead to the localised extinction of the earless dragon on lands managed by the Department of Defence in Majura Valley.

In the absence of any response by the respective minister's department about the action it might take we have now reached the point where we are taking advice from the ACT government solicitor on the referral of this matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions as the only way of indicating to the commonwealth the seriousness of their lack of response and the seriousness of their neglect of their duties and responsibilities.

I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answer to question without notice

Multicultural affairs

MR HARGREAVES: Yesterday Dr Foskey asked a supplementary question on the move of the Office of Multicultural Affairs to the Theo Notaris Multicultural Centre. She asked whether the views of other occupants were sought in regard to the loss of space in particular areas such as the children's room. The answer is yes. Informally, the views of several groups, including the Migrant Resource Centre, were sought, and a positive response to the move was received. A satisfaction survey about the centre was undertaken earlier this year, which revealed 100 per cent satisfaction with the centre, but in the survey it was highlighted that there was limited usage of the children's room as a play area. However, we are looking at options to relocate the facility elsewhere in the centre.


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