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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 2 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 607..

MADAM SPEAKER: I think that Mr Rattenbury is writing you a note even as you speak.

MR BARR: join with me and all other members of the Assembly in perhaps becoming better informed about the length of the trail and promoting it.

Trees—Kingston Foreshore

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Territories and Municipal Services. I refer the minister to the issue of a row of—

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: I honestly cannot hear Mr Doszpot. Mr Doszpot's voice, for some reason, does not travel a great distance and if there is interjection like that—and the clicking of the camera—I honestly cannot hear him. Could you start again?

MR DOSZPOT: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Territories and Municipal Services. I refer the minister to the issue of a row of Euphrates poplar trees on the Kingston Foreshore. The matter of their condition was first raised with the Chief Minister in April last year and assurances were given that the trees were being looked after. They were also added to the provisional tree register. As we know, one fell over two weeks ago due to overwatering that weakened the root system and it now apparently cannot be saved. Minister, what assurances are you able to provide that a similar fate will not befall the remaining Euphrates poplar trees?

MR RATTENBURY: It was very disappointing to see that tree blown over in the recent storm on the Australia Day long weekend. I am advised by TAMS that the one that blew over could not be rescued. I think some of the local residents were hopeful that it could be righted, staked into the ground and would continue to grow. Unfortunately, that is not possible. Given the size of the tree and the amount of the root base that came out of the ground, that kind of rescue operation was not, unfortunately, possible.

The remaining four trees are being placed on the tree register. I cannot think of the exact date off the top of my head. I can come back to you with that exact information. The one that has fallen over will be removed and the others will be looked after as is appropriate.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, why did it take so long for officers to assess the fallen tree and even longer for the issue of overwatering to be addressed?

MR RATTENBURY: Thank you, Mr Doszpot, for the supplementary question. I do not have the exact time frame between when the tree fell and when officers first went to it. I think it was within a couple of days. Again, I am happy to come back to you on that. I know you have been photographed at the site this week. So I am sure you probably know it better than I do.

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