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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1598 ..


But Varroa mites are not the only threat to our bee population. There are also man-made risks to bee populations, as others have noted. Bees are under threat due to the overuse of pesticides and herbicides, and agricultural practices which reduce habitats and food supplies and heighten the incidence of diseases and poisoning. Communities can take action at the local and international level against these threats. Earlier this year, in April, the European Union announced that a number of widely-used pesticides would be banned from the field by the end of the year due to their impact on wild bee and honey bee populations. As Minister Gentlemen mentioned, the UN General Assembly has recognised this global crisis and declared 20 May as World Bee Day as a means of raising awareness about the importance of bees and other pollinators and highlighting threats they are facing, and that makes this MPI particularly timely.

At the local level, events will be held across the territory to celebrate sustainability and showcase practices which support our bee populations. Noting the efforts of the EU nations in this regard, as Minister Gentleman noted, World Bee Day is being launched at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia at 9.45 am, before moving to the Embassy of Sweden at 1 pm and the Embassy of Switzerland at 5 pm. Families and individuals are invited to sample honey, jar local honey, and learn about better garden practices—the kinds of things Mr Steel spoke about earlier. A screening of the documentary More Than Honey at the Embassy of Switzerland at 5 pm, followed by a Q&A, will allow for an in-depth discussion on honey bee health. And at federal parliament at 2.30 pm a special afternoon tea will be held to honour their beehives. The three Parliament House hives have been established in partnership with the ANU apiculture society and the Canberra office of Orecon. I understand you can now buy Parliament House honey from the Parliament House shop, and this highlights that we all have a role to play in addressing this global issue.

I encourage Canberrans also to check out the act for bees website to find out more about all the events for World Bee Day and also the different steps each of us can take to protect and restore our local bee population. Again I thank Ms Le Couteur for the motion and hope to see everybody celebrating World Bee Day on 20 May and buying some local Canberra honey.

Discussion concluded.

Planning and Development (Lease Variation Charge Deferred Payment Scheme) Amendment Bill 2018

Debate resumed from 15 February 2018, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.15): The Canberra Liberals will not be opposing this bill. We certainly will not be loudly supporting it either.

Mr Barr: Describe that. Are you sitting on the fence there, Mark?


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