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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 2180 ..

planned. Based on these criteria, the committee decided that the two primary contenders for selection of a mammal emblem are the eastern bettong and the southern brush-tailed rock-wallaby.

The eastern bettong once lived across southern Australia but, due to human activity and the introduction of feral species, became extinct on the mainland in the 1920s. A population of bettongs from Tasmania was reintroduced to Canberra in 2012 and can be seen at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. They have an important role in the ecosystem, turning over soil and promoting regeneration of vegetation.

The brush-tailed rock-wallaby has a long association with the ACT and important cultural connections with the local Indigenous population. Due to farming and the introduction of feral species, the wallaby is at risk of being extinct in the foreseeable future. In 1996 Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve began a conservation program to save the wallaby from extinction.

From a captive population of three wallabies, Tidbinbilla has now grown the population and in doing so pioneered breeding techniques now used by many conservation programs. The Tidbinbilla population is now around 30. This number is expected to grow once an expanded sanctuary is constructed in 2018. Tidbinbilla hopes to grow the population to over 100, which will ensure the survival of the brush-tailed rock-wallaby.

The committee will now open an online poll for a period of two weeks to enable the ACT community to further inform which animal would best represent the territory as our mammal emblem. The poll results, as well as other material, will inform the committee as it prepares a report on the inquiry.

Statement by chair

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (11.35): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services relating to the inquiry into nature in our city. The committee has received requests for permission for individuals to make their submission after the closing date of 8 June 2018. The committee has decided to extend the closing date for all submissions to 29 June 2018.

Health, Ageing and Community Services—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (11.35): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Health, Ageing and Community Services. On 30 November 2017 the committee notified the Assembly that it had resolved to conduct an inquiry into the implementation, performance and governance of the national disability insurance scheme in the ACT. The committee conducted public hearings throughout May 2018 and heard testimony from the Shepherd Centre on Friday, 11 May.

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