Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 4 Hansard (12 April) . .
food, resulting in colony death syndrome. This research prompted Bunnings to remove the pesticide from their shelves as a precautionary measure and they received great public support. Nearly 30,000 people signed a petition urging Bunnings to stop selling neonicotinoids, or neonics, with 25,000 signatures being collected in just three days alone.
A spokesperson for Bunnings stated that they came to the decision independent of the petition but decided to remove the pesticide from their Australian and UK stores to err on the side of caution and to ensure the wellbeing of bees. Bunnings is swapping the pesticide for organic and natural pesticides, and it has been positive to see such a large retailer in our community make this proactive decision to protect bees which are so important to our natural environment.
Australian bees are relatively healthy compared to their counterparts overseas. However our bees are increasingly under threat by a range of diseases, pollution and pesticides. Bees also play a vital role in biosecurity for our country.
Going back to the ACT Beekeepers Field Day, I was shown one of the pink hives responsible for capturing bees that may be carrying diseases. These are known as sentinel hives and are placed around Canberra airport and are able to capture and contain any sick bees before the broader population is infected, and that is an initiative supported by the ACT government.
Honey biosecurity is important because, according to the aptly named bee-aware website on biosecurity, if a pest establishes itself in a particular hive or a region of our country the health of our bee population will be put under severe strain. The early detection increases the chance of eradicating potential pests and diseases.
I would particularly like to thank Cormac Farrel, the Vice-President of the ACT Beekeepers Association, for showing me around and also giving me the opportunity to have a hands-on demonstration while inspecting several beehives. I was able to see a natural hive as well as a flow hive extraction demonstration and some of our native bees which act quite differently to the European bees. It was excellent to see many Canberrans attending and I look forward to making a beeline to the next field day next year.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (4.37): I am not sure I can quite match Mr Steel's effort but it was a tremendous speech that he just gave. I rise today to reiterate the need for a pill testing trial in Canberra, as we approach one of our major music festivals, Groovin the Moo.
We know that young people across Australia are tragically being hospitalised and some are even dying from adulterated party drugs. The reality is that most drug takers are unaware of the origin and chemical make-up of what they put into their body, and
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