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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 1 Hansard (16 February) . . Page.. 404..


I have had many conversations and email exchanges with members of the friends and provided them with all the information they have sought on each and every occasion. I will continue to do so. Of course, I have also had many conversations and email exchanges with other residents of Hawker and surrounding suburbs. I was also the person who suggested to Mr Stanhope that, because the consultation process was so poorly conducted from the start, we should develop a master plan and have a project reference group.

As Mr Coe knows full well, at the recent meeting 54 of the 130 present voted not to support any redevelopment—hardly a ringing endorsement of that position. However, I was so concerned at the heat that was in the room that I went to Minister Barr and told him I was concerned about the anger that was evidenced by the community becoming polarised. I suggested it would be in everyone's interest that we suspend the work on the project. As you know, Mr Barr has declared a three-year moratorium on the project, and I am pleased with his decision.

I challenge Mr Coe to document his accusation that I was in lock-step with the government over Hawker, whatever that is supposed to mean. What I have done is what I have done for the last seven years in this place—that is, listen to my community. It was not my role to polarise community views by taking a position on the draft master plan rightly being developed by the community reference group, of which the friends, church, business and other community representatives were members. I thank all the members of the reference group for their work. So if listening is a crime, Madam Assistant Speaker, I gladly plead guilty as charged.

Mr John Hibberd

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (6.20): I would like today to reflect upon the contributions that Mr John Hibberd made to the promotion of conservation and environmental causes both locally and overseas. John passed away over the summer recess after a battle with cancer. John's 43-year career in environmental protection was testament to his dedication and passion.

For the past three years the ACT benefited from John's role as the Executive Director of the Conservation Council. In this role, John passionately fought for the inclusion of biodiversity considerations within urban planning processes. One of his great successes was in the establishment of the biodiversity mapping project, which provides technology for identifying and displaying biodiversity hot spots and ecological connectivity throughout the ACT.

John also played a vital role in the expansion of the Bush on the Boundary Working Group, working to mediate issues arising at the suburban bushland interface. Throughout his involvement, the bush on the boundary network has expanded into Gungahlin, and will soon reach Jerrabomberra and Tuggeranong.

John's engagement with conservation issues was diverse and included appointments to the Australian Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and to the boards of the New South Wales Nature Conservation Council and New South Wales's stunning Biamanga national park.


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