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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 179..


MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, will you ensure that the final management plan for Namadgi will implement the Assembly committee's recommendation to set a cap on large-scale events of 600 people?

MR STANHOPE: I will take some advice, but I think the answer is no, as the government is not inclined to unilaterally cap. The attitude the government takes is this. What if the National Parks Association wanted to organise a fundraising walk from Mount Ginini through to the Orroral Valley and 1,000 people turned up to undertake a walk on formed roads? What would your attitude be? This is the attitude the government has taken. Every event surely should be assessed on its merit.

And if it was not as dramatic as that, what if some organisation wanted to undertake a fundraising walk from Mount Ginini two kilometres down the hill and back and 1,000 people turned up? Would you think it reasonable that a walk from 10 am to midday on a Saturday that involved 1,000 people crossing the Namadgi boundaries into the park should be banned or that 400 people should be stopped at the gate and people say to them, "No, sorry, 600 is the quota; you 400 can come back tomorrow"? That is nonsense. They would do no damage. They would walk on a formed road; they would turn around and walk back.

I just do not believe that you can bring this absolutist cap attitude to a massive park. It constitutes half of the ACT in mass. It represents exactly half of the entire mass of the ACT and there is a proposal that only 600 people should be allowed into it at a time. I just do not accept the sense of that.

Childcare—fees

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. The Productivity Commission report on government services found that the ACT had the highest median fees for childcare services in Australia. Minister, what impact will the introduction of portable long service leave in the sector have on the ACT's relative childcare costs?

MS BURCH: I think we have been through this before, and Access Economics has said the portability of long service leave is a worker's entitlement. There are a number of things that go into childcare costs, and we have been over that a number of times. We do not expect that portable long service leave will impact on the cost of services. Services set their own fees, Mrs Dunne, which I have repeated to you a number of times.

MR SPEAKER: I call Mrs Dunne to ask a supplementary question.

MRS DUNNE: What analysis has the ACT government done on the impact of its changes on childcare costs for working families and the economy at large?

MS BURCH: We have been through this before, Mr Speaker, but I thank Mrs Dunne for raising childcare costs. She has asked around participation on workforce. Access


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