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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3287 ..


Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate—Part 1.7

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (12.07): Thank you for the opportunity to outline some of the ways the planning and land management, urban renewal, environment and heritage portfolios will make the most of their budget allocation this year to help make the ACT a better place.

As you would appreciate, the budget allocation covers a multitude of policies, plans and projects. Work ranges from the macro, such as managing Namadgi National Park and planning for our new suburbs, to the micro, such as protecting threatened species and approving development for individual dwellings.

I will use this opportunity to highlight a few of the more interesting and important projects in my portfolio that help our city grow and prosper and our environment to be protected and conserved. Our environment division helps protect and improve the integrity of our air, land, water and biodiversity.

The government recognises that the only way to effectively control the spread of invasive species is by sustained pressure on their populations. This initiative will provide ongoing base funding for invasive species control in nature reserves and catchments. In 2018-19, the government will provide an additional $112,000 to control weeds and $188,000 to control invasive animals. From next year, additional funding rises to over $900,000 in a year, an increase of $3.125 million over the four years. The government will invest $598,000 over three years to eradicate pests in the expanded Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary.

On healthier catchments through better water management, the government owns the territory's water supply and provides users with an entitlement to extract water for use. Given current use, approximately 15 gigalitres could be made available for trade on the temporary trading market, with the potential to raise in the vicinity of $2 million a year, which could go towards improved catchment management. We have provided $120,000 for initial modelling and investigation to examine how water trading could occur and what might be needed to set up such a scheme.

On ecotourism, the government has provided $200,000 towards a nature learning centre at the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary where the community can learn about our nationally endangered eucalypt woodlands and be inspired to care for biodiversity. The centre will be run by the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust, a unique partnership between the conservation community, ANU and ACT government. A further $1.438 million has been provisioned to the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust for the construction and fit-out of a Woodlands learning centre in future years.

In July 1969, Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station in Namadgi National Park relayed to the world the first images of people stepping onto the moon. To commemorate the 50th anniversary, a celebration is currently being considered at Namadgi National Park. It is proposed to include former tracking station employees, Tidbinbilla Deep


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