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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 3275..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

should be reasonably safe. They will be protected under land management agreements or they are protected through the Nature Conservation Act. That leaves 9 per cent of our 32 per cent in areas that will be considered for future use.

The important thing is that we get balance. If we want to say that it is appropriate to save everything, then everything stops in Canberra right now. It is about making sure that what we contain, what we save and what we concentrate our efforts and our resources on is making sure that we protect a full suite of the various sites that are necessary to maintain biodiversity; that we have a full suite and connectivity so that you have the corridors that allow the transit of animals and wildlife and birds from area to area; that we make sure that we contain the best of these sites. It is not necessary to save every single site.

Canberra is a diverse city. It is spread out, and we have specific areas already zoned residential, industrial or for whatever purpose. Some of these sites, as Ms Tucker points out, are covered by the draft plan. What the Government has to consider is how best to manage that reserve. This is the Government that shifted an entire town centre to save grasslands. They made the right decision. The former Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning is here. He made the right decision. The process that delivered that decision is the same process that delivers the decision that says it is appropriate to develop part of Conder 4A.

We do not get the full story here. We never get the full story. It is not acknowledged that in part of Eaglemont we have a beautiful knoll with two naturally occurring gullies on either side. This is a very high conservation site that will be saved. Some four hectares off the top will be put back into the reserve. A dozen hectares up on the Theodore saddle will have work done on it to try to return it to its natural condition.

What we have here is not, strictly speaking, a yellow box and red gum grassy woodland. It is an interesting grassland site. It is a modified site because it has had grazing over it. It is not necessarily in its original condition. On the advice the Government gets from its advisers it shifted an entire town centre, and according to everybody we got that right. Yet when the same advice says that it is acceptable to save some of this land yet allow the rest of the development to go ahead the Government gets it wrong. You cannot have it both ways. The process worked in Gungahlin and the process has worked at Conder.

SACS Award

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Education. It refers to the longstanding and continuing difficulties around the implementation of the SACS award and it concerns your commitments to community agencies. The Minister will know that this goes back a long time and that the impacts appear to be increasing. Minister, if you test your memory here, at the time when the first stage of the award was implemented, did your agencies provide additional resources to the community bodies to help cover that first stage? Moving on, will further resources be provided to cover continuing


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