Page 782 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 28 March 2023

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Secondly, snake catchers may encounter snakes that are injured or sick in the wild. Being able to treat these snakes can help prevent them from suffering and ensure their survival. Thirdly, snake catchers who can treat snakes may be able to educate the public on the importance of snake conservation and the role that snakes play in the ecosystem. By demonstrating their ability to care for snakes, they can help to dispel the myths and fear surrounding snakes and promote their conservation.

Overall, the ability to treat snakes is an important skill for snake catchers to have, as it can help to ensure the survival of individual snakes and promote the conservation of snake populations. We all want that; right? I do, anyway. Snake catchers who possess the skill and knowledge to treat injured snakes play a vital role in safeguarding the welfare of individual snakes and promoting the conservation of snake populations, ultimately contributing to the health and balance of our ecosystems.

That is all I wanted to say. I again thank Dr Paterson for moving this very important motion for our beautiful snakes in the wild.

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.51), in reply: I would like to thank colleagues very much today for your support of this motion. I thank Minister Vassarotti for sharing her phobia. It is a shame that the Steve Irwin immersion did not work in easing your phobia! Thank you, Ms Clay, for raising the netting issue. Who knew that Ms Kikkert was such a fan of snakes? Thank you, Mrs Kikkert, and thank you to Ms Lawder for your words in respect of the motion.

I hope that Canberra snake catchers can breathe a sigh of relief tonight. We are on their side. To Canberra’s snake catchers—particularly to Gavin, and to Alex Borg, who was unable to be here today—your work and advocacy for the slithery friends that you love has been outstanding and you should be very proud of what you do. I am sure that I speak on behalf of most of the people that you have received calls from to save them from snakes in their house. A massive thank you, and we really appreciate your service. Thank you to members today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Appropriation Bill 2022-2023 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 9 February 2023, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.53): The opposition will not be supporting this bill, because it is an appropriation bill that continues to take Canberra in the wrong direction. It is a bad appropriation bill from a bad government.

It is always interesting to hear from the Chief Minister how well he thinks he is managing the ACT economy. I am sure we will hear more of it today—we hear it endlessly!—and hear him talk about reducing the deficit.

If you look at the budget review papers, there is an improvement there under the headline “Net operating balance over the forward estimates”. But what the Chief

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