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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 4 Hansard (5 April) . . Page.. 1310..


As I have said before in this place, and I will say it again, I believe things such as the mowing of grass, the removal of graffiti and the maintenance of street trees should be core business for a local government, so it was reassuring when the commissioner released the report with so much emphasis based on this core service which should be delivered by a local government.

It is important to note one particular item on page vi of the introduction which talks about the government referring to about 400,000 trees needing to be cut down and replaced. The commissioner says:

This Tree Investigation was unable to support the above claim by the TAMS spokesperson.

In effect, it either seemed to be a bit of a furphy or it was just taken out of proportion. It is interesting to note that Mr Stanhope and others also reiterated this sentiment that a huge number of trees would need to be cut down. It seems to me that they were politically using a number which was deliberately exaggerated to support their existing policy.

What this report does is shed light onto that policy. It says that that policy was wrong and that there is a better way forward. I look forward to joining with other members of the Assembly in going through this report and looking at the pros and cons of the recommendations to ensure that we get the best possible result for the taxpayers of Canberra, who deserve a fair go for the rates they pay and the services they get in exchange from the government with regard to the maintenance of urban trees in our city.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Planning, Public Works and Territory and Municipal Services—Standing Committee

Reference

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for 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) (11.49): I move:

That the Report on the Investigation into the Government's tree management practices and the renewal of Canberra's urban forest be referred to the Standing Committee on Planning, Public Works and Territory and Municipal Services for inquiry and report to the Assembly by 5 October 2011.

When Dr Cooper was commissioned to undertake the report which we have now just discussed, I did indicate that I believed at that time—and I have no reason to resile from the belief—that it would be useful for the Assembly to inquire into this report and these issues. They are difficult but very important issues. I will not speak to the motion more than that, other than to say that it is essentially an intention that I


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