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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3747..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Mr Wood, in his response to this debate, mentioned the significant work that is undertaken by the Department of Urban Services. That is the other point that has to be made in relation to some of the comments of the Liberal Party. For instance, I heard reference to kangaroos and dead kangaroos. Something like 1,600 or 1,700 kangaroos have been killed on the roads of the ACT over the past year. We have had more kangaroo kills in this past year than in any other year since we have started recording those sorts of incidents. There is significant pressure on the Department of Urban Services's capacity to continually clean and pick up in an environment where kangaroos are present, once again, as a result of the drought.

It is almost as if this motion condemns the ACT government for the fact that it has not rained. Perhaps we should expect to receive from the Liberal Party as one of its election commitments or its election manifesto a commitment that there shall be a minimum level of rainfall and that it is somehow going to deliver it. So we will not have kangaroos coming out of the bush and being killed on the roads, we will not have our front lawns dying as a result of drought, our ovals looking sad and forlorn as a result of the fact that through water restrictions we cannot provide them with the level of water that we want. Is that what the Liberal Party is seriously suggesting-that it is this government's fault that it has not rained and that we are in the grip of the worst drought, and, as a result of that, it has had an impact on the look of our city?

The motion really is a nonsense. As I say, I do not think it does any credit to anybody in this place-the ACT's parliament-to be constantly talking down Canberra. This is a beautiful city, the most beautiful city in Australia. It is a wonderful home for all of us, and we should be proud of it. We should not be putting it down or talking it down. We should acknowledge what a privilege it is for us to live in Canberra, the bush capital, the most beautiful city in Australia.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: The minister's time has expired.

MR STEFANIAK (5.24): We are not just talking about the drought, Chief Minister; we are talking about a number of other things-things such as graffiti, street signs and lighting.

Mr Stanhope: It is better now than it was when you were in government.

MR STEFANIAK: I do not think it is. It certainly is not. I do not think I have seen quite so much graffiti for some time. In relation to water use, I will just point out to the Chief Minister that it concerns me that the government is not listening to experts. Yes, we are in the middle of a dreadful drought, but there are things it could do better. Talking about ovals, I suggest you listen to the advice of Keith McIntyre, who is a world-renowned expert. For a much more efficient use of water, you could probably water another 57 hectares. There are things we can do smarter, and there are things that we need to do to keep our city going during the drought. There are a hell of a lot of things the government needs to do apart from just the drought-affected things.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: The time for debate has expired.


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