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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 4789..


Bill agreed to.

Adjournment

Motion by (Mr Corbell) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Mrs Dunne: Gosh, it's 5 o'clock and we can all bundy off.

National Zoo and Aquarium

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.59): Mrs Dunne makes an interesting point—it is 5 o'clock and we are about to adjourn. We could have easily had an MPI and still finished within the normal sitting times the Assembly places upon itself. There are those of us here who are interested in housing affordability, but, of course, the Greens and the Labor Party are not.

On a different issue—the National Zoo and Aquarium. There was a fabulous article in the Canberra Times on 15 October which looked at Richard Tindale's plans to develop the zoo into an urban savannah. It follows on from an article in the Canberra Times of 30 August where the NCA had finally approved the master plan for the area. This is an issue that goes back some time. In fact, Mr Tindale discussed with me when I was the planning minister back in 2001 his desire to get in place the urban savannah so that those of us who live in a city could experience some of the joys of the savannah and, more particularly, of Africa. An article in the Canberra Times of 1 December 2005 announced that the National Zoo and Aquarium would become the first open range zoo in Australia in an urban environment. That announcement was made nearly six years ago. How the years pass.

Fortunately, despite a number of trials and tribulations along the way, particularly for the zoo owner, Richard Tindale, and his family—his wife Maureen and the kids—his dream of an urban open range zoo is now quite a bit closer. Last week Richard Tindale was able to announce his plans for major redevelopments of the zoo. The principal activity will be a substantial expansion of an area encompassed by the zoo from its current boundaries. As part of these plans, an interactive hotel experience will be incorporated into the redevelopment. As I have noted, these plans have been a long time in gestation.

Many people have been encouraging Richard to pursue his dream, and I am delighted to see these plans finally getting to the stage where they will now be able to come to fruition. An expanded zoo will provide an incredible experience for visitors, particularly for those who choose to stay overnight at the zoo. The zoo will become an even more significant activity on the itinerary of locals and, indeed, tourists, both national and international. There are very few countries in the world where you can go to the nation's capital and see the flagpole of the parliament building in the distance and actually hear the roaring of the lions and the playfulness of the cheetahs and the monkeys and the other animals.


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