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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 September 1995) . . Page.. 1491 ..


In the case of the Aranda bushland, the report that I referred to identified concerns about lots of areas along the urban edge of Canberra, and Aranda is a particularly important part of that. It is part of the Canberra Nature Park. It is rated as having one of the highest levels of bushfire hazard in the Territory. The Aranda area that was burnt was a narrow strip comprising 10 out of a total of 93 hectares, and plants and animals will easily recolonise the burnt area. A wildfire which burnt the whole area would be far more damaging to that area and would put the residential area, as well, at jeopardy. Effective fuel reduction improves the chance of survival for wildlife and it is prudent to put those measures in place now, not wait until the summer.

Mr Speaker, there have been statements in the media that removing ground fuel is ineffective in reducing hazards to suburbs. That is just not true, to be quite frank. Firefighters say that the only way to prevent crown fires is to reduce ground fuels. This spring the Parks and Conservation Service plans to undertake further hazard reduction burns around the perimeter of the Australian National Botanical Gardens at Black Mountain, around the caravan park in O'Connor, and in two areas in the Namadgi National Park. Some experimental plots in grasslands will also be burnt for research purposes. I do not like having to authorise those burns either, but there simply is not an alternative way of managing those areas properly and appropriately. That is a position which the report clearly points up. If Ms Horodny is not happy with that I would very much like her to come back and talk to the people who drew up the report and tell them where they got it wrong. They seem to think that it is the right way to go.

Cultural and Heritage Centre

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, I direct a question to the Minister for Arts and Heritage, Mr Gary Humphries. Why has the Government decided to review the location of the Cultural and Heritage Centre in Canberra?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, this Government remains committed to the idea of having a Cultural and Heritage Centre in the ACT. Money provided for that centre from the casino premium remains available to meet that need when it is required. We need to review, however, the location of that centre in light of indications - - -

Mr Berry: Who says?

Mr Moore: Who says?

MR HUMPHRIES: Members, do not dispute that fact. I am very happy to table the report of - - -

Ms Follett: Why did you not send it back to the Assembly committee? It is an Assembly decision, not a government decision.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed, Mr Humphries.


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