Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 March 2022) . . Page.. 542 ..
autoimmune disorders. I hope that by putting this part of my story on the record, it encourages more people to speak up, to ask questions and, for those that do not have an autoimmune disorder, to go forward with an open mind and a bit more support.
World Rewilding Day
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (4.11): Sunday, 20 March was World Rewilding Day. It was a day where people around the world raised awareness of rewilding and the need for recovery of nature, inspiring people and organisations around the globe to support and participate in practical rewilding. What is rewilding? There are so many definitions. It is a progressive approach to conservation. It acknowledges that nature can and should take care of itself. It is about healing nature, restoring ecosystems and letting natural processes shape the land and the sea, repair our damaged ecosystems and restore our degraded landscapes. It restores our connection with the natural world and it helps us to reconnect. For me, rewilding is about hope, creation and agency. It is about learning and listening to what our environment needs and helping out or getting out of the way.
Why is it important? I know I bang on about this a lot, but we are in a climate emergency. We also have an extinction crisis and a habitat crisis. We are experiencing biodiversity decline at an increasing rate. Rewilding is one small way we can support and reconnect with nature and reverse the harm that humans have done to our environment for generations. It provides opportunities to reverse the biodiversity loss and lets us restore habitat in our cities and our local areas. It lets us make a home for the plants and animals who used to call this place home. It also improves our health and wellbeing.
I have learned a lot about rewilding during my term here. I get to meet and work with a lot of local community groups, and a lot of them are working in this area. I have been lucky, as an MLA, to have participated in rewilding and land care activities. I have met with people and I have weeded and done plantings in Cook, Bruce Ridge, Aranda bushland, Mount Painter, Black Mountain, Umbagong, Lawson, Mackellar and Gossan Hill. My partner keeps threatening to list our backyard as a rewilding project in the hopes of attracting my attention to help him out on the weekends, but, frankly, I am too busy elsewhere, so it is probably not going to work.
I was privileged to hear from, and work with, a newly established group, Emu Creek, which is a rewilding group run by John. He is intensely passionate about assisting his local area to become biologically rich and diverse again. He wants to protect the environmental features that are already there, like native grasses, and to replant them and recreate them. He has a vision, and he has gathered together a lot of interested locals—all different ages, all different backgrounds. The results are impressive, and the outings are really fun.
I have also spent time with some more established land care groups, like Friends of Mount Painter. It has been great to see and hear the long-term, continual stewardship in these areas and to see what it can achieve. Places can be, and are, regenerated when we give them time, attention and consistent love. For me, rewilding is integrating nature in our city and turning to nature-based solutions, such as wetlands to purify our