Page 3468 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 October 2022

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(5) Omit (3)(e) substitute:

“(e) update the Assembly on the implementation of the Stromlo Forest Park Master Plan and the progress of this motion by the last sitting week in August 2023.”

MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (4.27): I want to start off by thanking Ms Clay for bringing this important motion to the Assembly. Let me start by stating that Ms Clay’s opening in the motion presented a very typical story of the ACT government inaction. The Stromlo Forest Park master plan process began way back in 2009, and the ACT government reconfirmed its commitment to the 2010 master plan in 2014, yet it is still not completed, and it is now 2022. Further, I see that in December 2019, the ACT government released the draft Canberra Mountain Bike Report for public consultation. The final version of this report was not published until 2021, and no further commitment has been made in response to its recommendations.

Also, I see that in October 2020, the ACT Labor election commitment costed a flow-style trail from Stromlo Forest Park to Cotter recreation area, with a return climb, which would create a link between two popular recreation hubs, but nothing more has come of that just yet. The Parliamentary and Governing agreement between Labor and the Greens included a commitment to:

Make Stromlo Forest Park a premier mountain biking destination by finishing the Stromlo Park Masterplan, implementing recommendations from the “Mountain Biking ACT report” and building a flow trail from Stromlo Forest Park to Cotter.

I want to state that the Canberra Liberals support the calls by Ms Clay in this motion for the ACT government to deliver the Stromlo to Cotter flow trail and to progress the Canberra Mountain Bike Report recommendations as a priority. These developments will continue to provide a better mountain biking environment in the ACT.

From my consultations with the local mountain biking groups, I recognise the need for and the benefits of having a single point of contact for mountain biking in the ACT, where mountain bikers can seek information on the progress of work by the ACT government on mountain biking. I also support improved processes for consultation with the range of mountain bikers, and regular Stromlo Forest Park users, on progress and proposed changes at Stromlo Forest Park, noting that the consultation with other users must be included.

I wonder if we will ever see the completion of Stromlo Forest Park as a premier mountain biking destination. Let me refer to the recent events in the estimates hearings, where Ms Clay also raised these issues. Records of estimates hearings on 31 August this year indicated that the government’s view of an election commitment is more like a Clayton’s commitment—subject to changing funding needs and expenditure requirements. From the same hearings it was revealed that there is another form of commitment: that a Greens commitment sits within the Greens appendix of the parliamentary and governing agreement, thus suggesting that it may not carry equivalent weight. Furthermore, it was revealed that a master plan is a long-term vision, and that it is unrealistic to expect to see any results for at least two

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