Page 965 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023

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Typically, the TCCS approach will be to plant more exotic trees within suburb. Then on the edges it is the typical approach to have more native trees planted. That also helps with the reduction and spread of seed from some of these exotic species so that they do not go on to propagate in our reserves that surround virtually every suburb in the ACT.

MR BRADDOCK: Minister, what criteria does the government use to ensure the tree list contains species that will not become pests?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. We take expert advice about what should be on our tree planting lists. That is based on a range of different factors. We will look at what particular species may be causing a problem within nature reserves around the ACT. There is the pest species list that is formed as well, and we take that seriously. We are not asking people to remove those species if they already have them planted, but they can remove them without needing to apply for a tree-damaging activity order.

We will continue to look at the impact of trees and the benefits they provide. Exotic trees do provide many benefits in our urban environment for people, and native species provide benefits for biodiversity in Canberra. We will continue to make sure that the right tree is planted at the right location. It is important that as our city develops, we continue to maintain and grow our tree canopy cover into the future, while respecting the cultural and environmental value of our city.

Light rail—stage 2B

MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister ,when you speak of stage 2B of the tram, as you did earlier today in a question from Mr Pettersson, you speak of a tramline that extends to Woden. Your power-sharing partners the Greens have long been agitating for stage 2 to go to Mawson. I will quote from the ACT Greens website:

We think there is a strong case to be made for extending light rail to Mawson as part of Stage 2, with the goal of having light rail to Mawson commence operation at the same time or shortly after the opening of light rail from the City to Woden Town Centre.

Minister, will you allow the Greens to call the shots yet again and build stage 2 to Mawson so as to retain their support?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. We have been very clear, because this is in the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement for the Tenth Assembly, that we would consider an extension to Mawson as part of decision making on stage 2B. We have been very clear publicly that we will consider the option of that extension in the business case which will be developed for stage 2B. So that is what we will do. In fact some work has already been undertaken which will be used to help inform that work. We will be looking at a potential extension as far as up to Beasley Street in Farrer and Torrens. We will be looking at the benefits of that system but also the costs of that extension as part of the business case for stage 2B, because we are committed to building a city-wide light rail network. That is what we want to do—deliver a mass


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