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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1470..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

question on notice and get back to the member as soon as I possibly can. I am grateful for the support from the other side of the chamber.

I have to say that one of the big things about out attitude to the lower Cotter catchment is, in fact, the way in which, unexpectedly, the natural regrowth of bushland got a spurt on. There was a prediction that we would have to put pines in there to guarantee water quality, to guarantee soil stability and basically to enable the area to recover. It turns out, much to our surprise and delight—

Dr Foskey: Your surprise and delight?

MR HARGREAVES: Do you want to say something now or later?

Mr Smyth: You're tetchy.

MR HARGREAVES: Yes, I am tetchy. I do not like cabbages; I am sorry. The issue is a very serious one. The natural bushland regenerated at such a pace that we were able to take advantage of this and say, "Why on earth do we need to go into commercial plantation down there at all any more when our major priority is, in fact, water quality?"It is about letting the area itself recover. We all know, fairly reasonably, that the natural flora and fauna will regenerate within a natural environment considerably quicker than pine plantings. We find now that we can let the wildlings continue to grow there. As the natural bushland emerges out of it, we will thin those out as well. The only reason we are not going to do it at the moment is to see whether we can make sure that any erosive effect in that particular catchment is arrested by the natural regrowth. To a degree, some of the weeds will even keep the soil intact.

We will not see huge pieces of machinery planting pines in the very area in which our most delicate water catchment exists. I am particularly keen to see, within that catchment, the whole area being allowed to regenerate properly but safely. I do not take any credit for that. The credit for that should go to Environment ACT and the Chief Minister.

Public service—shared services

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in a media release of 19 April 2006 you contrast the task of implementing a shared services regime in Western Australia with your proposal for the ACT. In particular, you state that the ACT already has a single human resources system and a single finance system. I would also note that the ACT has a single procurement system and a single information and communications technology system.

Chief Minister, you then state that, given these imperatives, the task in the ACT was more about bringing people together than bringing systems together. Is your statement simply code for disguising your intention to remove public servants from the ACT government payroll? What advice did the report of the functional and strategic review provide in relation to potential losses of public servants?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mrs Burke for the question. I indicated in debate yesterday, I think, that members need to be aware of the differences between the centralisation of


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