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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1055 ..

MR RATTENBURY: They were left there in the prospect of further scientific research. The work is now finished and they will be removed. The fact that they are unsightly is an extraordinary observation. And Ms Castley referring to the bettong experiment as a wasteful harebrained scheme is frankly insulting to the researchers and the scientists who prepared that project.

Minister Vassarotti has spoken about this, and I encourage Ms Castley to take up her offer—she should go and meet the scientists who worked on this, the ecologists who thought that they had the right project to help reintroduce on the mainland what would otherwise be an extinct species. It did not quite work out as they hoped, but to describe it as harebrained is simply insulting to the hardworking ecologists, scientists, and researchers in this city. I encourage members to research a little more before they make these kinds of observations. It does not do this place any credit to hear those sorts of descriptions.

I assure Ms Castley that a review of the Climate Act will commence soon. I will have announcements, because we are not meant to walk in here and make those kinds of announcements, but I will provide the details of that very shortly to both the community and this place.

I finally touch on the issue of ambition and action. One of the more insightful moments of the election campaign took place at an environment forum at St Margaret’s Uniting Church in my good electorate of Kurrajong, where myself, a member of the Labor Party, and Ms Lee were invited to speak about our respective party’s environment policies. The questioning was conducted by students of Dickson College who were doing a journalism or current affairs course. They were pleased to hear of the opposition’s proposal for a million trees and they politely and neutrally asked Ms Lee what science had been used to develop that target. Ms Lee gave a broad-sweeping answer and a student very politely said, “Thank you, Ms Lee, for that answer, but I would like to return to my actual question: what was the scientific basis behind choosing a million trees?” Once again Ms Lee gave a broad-sweeping answer and the student ever so politely—I think that he was feeling a little awkward by this point—for a third time asked what the scientific basis was for choosing a million trees. He gave up after that because it was getting awkward for both him and the entire audience, but there was never an answer to the research and planning basis for why a million trees was chosen.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR RATTENBURY: So I encourage members not only not to interject, because it is against the standing orders, but also to be a little more thoughtful and considered when it comes to having a scientific and evidence base for their policy positions.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Housing ACT—Part 1.11

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.26): We all know that appropriation bills are the vital sustenance of government for delivering programs and services to support the

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