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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1945..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (6:06): I thank the Treasurer for standing in for me. For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee (Sixth Assembly)—Report 34—Inquiry into the Namadgi National Park Draft Plan of Management—Government response.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

I table the government response to the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment inquiry into the Namadgi national park revised draft plan of management. In accordance with the then Land (Planning and Environment) Act, in December 2007 the Minister for Planning referred the Namadgi national park revised draft plan of management to the Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Planning and Environment. The standing committee subsequently handed down its report in July 2008. On behalf of the government, I thank the committee for their contribution to this important document and to the planning process.

The Namadgi national park plan of management is a significant and important document for the ACT. It sets out the principles and policies for managing Namadgi, which encompasses 46 per cent of the ACT, contains our most important and pristine water catchment, the Cotter catchment, provides habitat for a tremendous diversity of plants and animals and is an important recreation area for people living in the ACT region and for interstate and international visitors.

The committee investigated the administration and effectiveness of the stakeholder consultation process during the development of the draft plan of management, the nature and level of participation of the Namadgi advisory board in developing the plan, Namadgi national park's value as a biodiversity conservation area and as part of a greater regional conservation corridor.

The government has given careful consideration to the recommendations made in the standing committee report. The government agrees fully with 13 of the recommendations, agrees in principle with one of the recommendations, notes four of the recommendations and does not agree with three of the recommendations.

I am pleased to report to the Assembly that the standing committee was favourable in its finding on community consultation and commended the considerable effort made by TAMS to consult openly and fairly with a wide audience. Participation by all key stakeholders was facilitated through a variety of methods for engaging the community. The committee reported that the interim Namadgi advisory board operated effectively and made a significant contribution to the development of the Namadgi plan of management, while acknowledging that at times there were some difficult dynamics between board members. The report notes that TAMS personnel provided a consistently high level of administrative assistance and information to the advisory board.

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