Page 1953 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022

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We are working on the final details of the opening, but it is due to be opened in July 2022. This is a really exciting project. The construction of Wildbark is a joint partnership between the ACT government, the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust and the ANU. We are really pleased that the ACT government has been able to contribute $1.6 million in funding towards the learning centre, and that has been matched by funding by the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust. This is going to be a great resource and a hub for environmental and cultural education, research, innovation and community wellbeing. We really encourage all Canberrans to plan a trip out to Mulligan’s Flat and out to Wildbark when it is opened. I am really looking forward to joining with ministerial colleagues when we do finalise the opening date and celebrate this really fantastic new facility for the community.

MR BRADDOCK: I am also interested in how the trial of the release of spotted-tailed quolls is going?

MS VASSAROTTI: I was really delighted to go out and meet two of the spotted-tailed quolls just before they were released into the sanctuary at the beginning of summer 2021. I was out there on 1 December 2021 and met, I think it was, Boof, and I cannot remember the name of the other spotted quoll. This is an exciting thing in the sanctuary because this is the introduction of an apex predator, which is a really important contribution to the sanctuary. This is a sanctuary and we have removed predators from the sanctuary, and we have seen the fantastic introduction of species that used to be endemic in the region but are no longer, particularly species such as the bettong. What we have seen is the need to get the ecological system working well, so we have introduced those spotted-tailed quolls into the sanctuary. We are really looking to see how this apex predator does recreate the food web and to test how these predators behave. That research is ongoing, and as soon as we have data to be provided, we will provide it to the community.

MR DAVIS: Minister, what other species may be reintroduced in the future?

MS VASSAROTTI: This experiment has really been looking at how we get new, endemic species back into the community. We have seen the introduction of eastern bettongs, eastern quolls, spotted-tail quolls, bush stone-curlews and New Holland mice. They have all been reintroduced into the sanctuary. The research team are looking at a number of other species that may be appropriate for reintroduction, but we have not yet got any time frames on new and future releases. We will be working with scientists and letting the community know when we have releases to happen. This is one of the really exciting things about the new education centre—that we will be able to provide more information and more opportunities for the community to engage and interact with these species that used to be very common within our local region but, unfortunately, since colonisation are no longer in the environment.

Carers—Carers Recognition Act implementation

MS ORR: My question is to Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services. Minister, given the Carers Recognition Act passed the Assembly in December 2021 and has since commenced, can you please provide an update on the implementation of the act?

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