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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 3274..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

It is my intention later this week to table the protocols that the Government has developed in respect of the use of cameras in Civic. Members will have a chance to look at those and decide whether they are what they wish them to be and to give the Government their views on those things. In due course members may wish to consider whether that should be in the form of legislation. Given that we are trialling a concept in the Civic area, it is not appropriate to put that legislation just yet, since the idea will naturally change as we see what is actually used. We may find that it is better to leave the guidelines flexible and then come back and put them in legislation if that is what we collectively believe is appropriate.

Grassy Woodlands

MS TUCKER: My question to the Minister for Urban Services relates to the proposed development of the Conder 4A estate and the extension of Templestowe Avenue to join Charterisville Avenue in Conder. Minister, as you would know, this development will occur through an area of endangered grassy woodland that has been rated as high conservation value in the draft action plan for the grassy woodland endangered ecological community and has generated considerable community concern. I understand that a petition of over 900 names has been collected opposing this development. That petition will soon be presented to the Assembly. You would also be aware that a complaint has been lodged with the Commissioner for the Environment, who is currently discussing the matter with the complainants and your department. In light of the commissioner's investigation and the public concern, will you put a moratorium on this development until the commissioner has completed his inquiries and until the draft action plan for the grassy woodland endangered ecological community is finalised?

MR SMYTH: I am not aware that the Commissioner for the Environment is conducting an investigation. He is still considering whether or not he should, and I will await his answer.

MS TUCKER: I ask a supplementary question. Mr Smyth, you have been claiming that the proposed development reflects balance between conservation and development. Given that only 3 to 4 per cent of original woodlands are left and only 5 per cent of grasslands remain in moderate to good condition, will you admit that the balance is already well gone and will you still be arguing, when there is only one per cent left, that you should take out 0.5 per cent because it is about balance?

MR SMYTH: I do not have the exact figures here, so I rely on my memory. The yellow box and red gum communities around Australia are reduced to some 8 per cent of the original coverage.

Ms Tucker: I am talking about Canberra.

MR SMYTH

: Please, let me be allowed to answer the question you asked. I will give it to you in perspective, unlike you do with many things. The ACT, I believe, has 32 per cent of its original yellow box and red gum communities still in existence. Of that 32 per cent, some 91 per cent is either in reserve or off reserve in areas where they


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