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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3704..


MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question. In the interests of greenhouse gas and energy use reduction, can you assure the Assembly that multiunit developments will allow the provision of solar powered clothes-drying equipment-that is, clothes lines?

MR CORBELL: Normally, whether or not to provide a clothes line enclosure in a development is a commercial decision of the developer, but there are certainly no planning controls that would prohibit it. They simply need to make sure that it is appropriately shielded or enclosed by a wall, or something like that. Apart from that, it is usually a commercial decision of the developer as to whether to include a clothes line enclosure. We do not make clothes lines mandatory as part of multiunit development.

Bushfires-restoration of natural assets

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Environment. With the recent welcome rainfall over the ACT and increasingly warmer, sunnier days, many Canberrans are looking forward to again enjoying outdoor pursuits in the surrounding bush. Can the minister say what progress has been made in restoring our wonderful natural assets from the devastation caused by January's bushfires? What will Canberrans have to look forward to this summer?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. Mr Speaker, an enormous amount of work has been undertaken since January to make our parks and nature reserves safe. Burnt trees have been cleared and continue to be cleared. We are progressively reopening sections of areas of parks as we can.

At Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Namadgi National Park, visitors, I am sure, will have noticed that grasses and plants in the ground are coming back quite well and that many of the eucalypts are sprouting. Animals have begun to move back into these regenerated areas, but, as I think we are all aware, many areas will take some time-indeed, years-to fully regenerate.

Mr Speaker, it is pleasing that kangaroos and wombats are present in significant numbers in both Namadgi and Tidbinbilla and can now be seen and observed. There are also several species of birds returning to those areas, particularly where the regrowth is advancing.

Members will also have followed the fortunes of Lucky, the surviving koala from the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. This will be the last week of Lucky's recovery at the National Zoo, and she will be returning to the Tidbinbilla reserve within a week.

I might, with some pleasure, report, Mr Speaker, on another of our environmental icons. The corroborree frog is progressing well. As members would be aware, over 300 eggs were collected in sphagnum bogs within Namadgi National Park after the fires. They were collected and transferred to a captive husbandry facility at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. The eggs have been progressively hatching, and the hatching was completed last week. Of the eggs that were retrieved for captive breeding, 21 have proven to be non-viable, but 323 have hatched and currently are very healthy as tadpoles. It is our great hope that the tadpoles will metamorphosise into froglets by January. That is a very good start to our attempts to restore a viable population of the northern corroborree frog


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