Page 781 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 28 March 2023

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other snakes getting caught in that netting. As with many things, anything we can do on education and environmental protection will help every aspect of our environment.

In August 2022 I was really happy to move a motion about mowing. Again, that was about protecting our ecosystems, working with the community and working on our education to make sure that we get the right balance between looking after the aesthetics of our neighbourhoods and looking after our people and making sure that we are looking after habitat and the ecosystems that we really need for our wildlife. The resolution ensured that conservation areas are better protected from inappropriate mowing. It looked at better community conversations about the importance of Canberra’s grasslands and wildlife, through education. I became quite starkly aware that tall grass is a common community concern and that grass providing cover for snakes is a really big concern for some people in some of our urban areas. We really need to work with those fears and work with people to look at how we bring everybody along on the journey of looking after our natural habitat and our wildlife.

I am really grateful for the work that snake catchers are doing in Canberra. It is incredibly important. It is so important that that work continues and that we have appropriate and considered processes in place to ensure that we get the best possible outcomes for injured snakes. It is also really important that people are educated about the services that are available so that the public do not take matters into their own hands. It is really important all round that we get great education programs. Dr Paterson and I were recently talking to some schoolchildren who asked Dr Paterson about this very issue. It was clearly a great opportunity for education. It is so clear that we can do a lot better in this space. I would like to congratulate Dr Paterson on this motion. We are very happy to support it.

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (4.48): I have a love for snakes, so I am very grateful to speak on this. Thank you, Dr Paterson, for bringing forward this motion and especially for organising today’s snake show with Gavin. That was super fun. I really loved it. I give a shout-out to Gavin from the ANU; I really appreciated your show today. Also, I give a shout-out to the licensed snake catchers: ACT Snake Removals, Canberra Snake Catcher and Reptile Removals, Canberra Reptile Zoo and Canberra Snake Rescue and Relocation.

One thing I learned today from Gavin—and I did not know this—is that when he catches a snake, if it is injured he is unable to treat the snake. Poor snake! What would I do if I were a snake and I was injured and a snake catcher caught me but was unable to treat me and I had to wait for a vet to treat me? I did not like that idea at all. I want the snake to be fixed, cured and treated, and sent back into the wild where it deserves to stay, safely.

I want to touch on that. Snake catchers play an essential role in safely removing snakes from human habitats and releasing them back into their natural habitats. However, being able to treat snakes is also an important skill that several snake catchers have, and it is critical for several reasons. Firstly, when a snake is caught, it may have injuries or illnesses that need to be treated before releasing it back into the wild. Without proper treatment, these snakes may not survive or may become a danger to other animals and humans.

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