Page 2195 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2022

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looks nice, you are more invested to keep your area looking nice. When your area is a bit rundown and grubby, people take less pride in their local area and are less likely to do things like picking up rubbish. So it is important that we do these basic maintenance issues well.

I go back to the “no mow” aspect of Ms Clay’s motion. It is an important thing, and there are so many people who are really keen to do these in their areas. I have visited a few of them myself. Some other people in the area have expressed concerns about bushfire safety. This is, as Ms Clay has already mentioned, handled separately. It is still important that bushfire safety is managed. So I think residents can have their concerns allayed in this area. Some residents also feel it looks untidy, but I think we could and should become used to the natural beauty of these areas. We are using native plants and providing habitat for the animals in our areas. I look forward to hearing more about what is in the budget for suburban maintenance today.

In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge once again and thank the many groups, formal and informal, government and non-government, who are looking after our urban spaces, our grasslands. They are regenerating native plants and habitats and beautifying our landscapes in a sustainable way. They deserve our support for their efforts. It must be disappointing and dispiriting for them when they come home or go down to their local space and find it has been, accidentally or otherwise, mowed. I am supportive of Ms Clay’s suggestions in her motion today. These groups may have their hard work undone by the mowing. So I agree with her suggestions in her motion, and, as such, we are happy to support her motion today.


(Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (4.40): I am really pleased to support this grassroots land care community-led motion by Ms Clay, which will take us another step forward towards making Canberra an urban biodiversity haven, delivering benefits for both wildlife and people.

The ACT Greens took a comprehensive urban biodiversity platform to the election, all the way back in 2020, and it has been wonderful today to reflect on how much progress has been made towards achieving these goals. We will forgive you for your very long motion!

As outlined in the motion, one of these that has been discussed already is that, as part of the budget that we will hear about shortly, there will be $10 million to support nature conservation, with a focus on restoring open urban spaces and enhancing our capacity to adapt to a changing climate. As part of this, almost $3 million over two years will be utilised to bring back more nature into the city and to maximise biodiversity connectivity and wildlife corridors through the enhancement of 20 local sites and the production of habitat and connectivity maps to shape the city’s development. While we often talk about our urban forests in this Assembly, this motion is not about the trees; it is about the life underneath them and the importance of the understorey—or, in plain speak, the grass and the shrubs. These serve as critical habitat and connectivity, as there is no storey without the understorey.

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