Page 3619 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 22 November 2022

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Environment—bees and other pollinators

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (3.02), by leave: On behalf of Ms Orr, I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) bees and other pollinators are fundamental to our environment, with an essential role in pollinating plants, helping them grow and reproduce;

(b) bees and other pollinators are crucial to our food chain as they help pollinate most of the crops we eat, as well as the crops that feed farm livestock;

(c) without bees and other pollinators pollinating our crops, whole industries would collapse, and severe food shortages would impact all Australians;

(d) destruction of their natural habitat, intensive farming practices, climate change, and pests and diseases are just some of the complex reasons driving a decline in both the number and diversity of bees and other pollinators every year;

(e) the decline of bee and other pollinators populations is an issue that is present all around the world, not just within Australia;

(f) the varroa mite is currently threating a large number of beehives around the NSW region with many beekeepers having to destroy their colonies; and

(g) Australia has around 2,000 species of native bees, with the introduced European honeybee species having a negative impact on our own native bee population but providing essential pollination for crops and other plant species;

(2) further notes:

(a) in 2018-19, honey and beeswax production was valued at $162 million in Australia, and the unrecognised value of pollination is believed to be in the order of $14.2 billion to the Australian economy; and

(b) Hall Village in Yerrabi, is the first Bee Friendly Village in Australia, with over 90 percent of household’s gardens being registered as bee friendly, according to Hall Village’s February 2020 report;

(3) calls on the ACT Government to outline:

(a)  the variety and types of bees and other pollinators in Canberra;

(b) current populations and locations of native hives, feral European beehives and beekeepers and their hives;

(c) what the ACT Government currently does to support our bee and other pollinator population including but not limited to:

(i) easily available pollinator friendly planting guides;

(ii) targeted efforts to promote pollinator planting in different urban forms e.g. low, medium and high density;

(iii) plantings on public land that support bees and other pollinators;

(iv) spatial mapping of pollinator resources including pollinator gardens; and

(v) any other relevant information;

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