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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3268..


DR FOSKEY (continuing):

with "themes"set by the Minister or risk having the nominations left off for consideration;

Give the Minister arbitrary discretion to remove a publicly nominated species or ecological community from the annual list of species to be assessed for listing (currently the Minister gives his Scientific Committee repeated extensions to postpone consideration of politically controversial nominations such as commercial marine fish and ecological communities occurring on private farmland-a new amendment will allow him to remove controversial nominations from the Committee's consideration altogether.)

Allow the Minister to refuse to have assessed a threatened species previously rejected for protection even if-

since then-

its conservation status has worsened ...

There are huge alarm bells ringing in environmental organisations about this. It is really important. It gets more broadly into the mainstream. We all rely on our environment. I am sure that everybody knows that Australia has one of the worst records of extinctions in the world, and this minister plans to worsen it.

Illicit drug use

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.10): Last Monday, I joined with my Assembly colleagues Mr Gentleman, Mr Smyth and Dr Foskey in attending the 11th annual remembrance ceremony for those who lost who lost their lives to illicit drugs. As part of the ceremony, we listened as Bishop Pat Power read a list of over 170 names of Canberrans who had died as a result of illicit drug use. Most of those were between the ages of 18 and 35, although even more tragically a number were younger than that-one, 15-and some in their middle years. Bishop Power told those congregated that only last week one of his brother priests performed a burial ceremony for a member of his own family. Proof yet again, if we ever need it, that this tragedy is totally indiscriminate in the way that it strikes.

Also speaking at the ceremony was Tom Trimingham, the CEO of Family Drug Support, New South Wales. Tony lost his 23-year-old son, Damien, 10 years ago. Mr Trimingham went on to say that since he started family drug support he had the opportunity to travel the world, meet many dedicated people and even receive awards for his work, but he would give it all up if he were able to spend just 10 minutes with Damien, the son who, for him, will ever be 23 but a son he will never see develop to his full potential; a son who will never have children of his own; a son who, for him, is now a memory.

The remembrance day ceremony was started 11 years ago by a family and friends of drug law reform, in particular Brian and Marion McConnell who tragically lost their own son, Cliff. The ceremony is held under a locust tree in Weston Park because of its particular association for the family of one of their members whose brother died in 1996. At that time, the tree was bare and its thorns stood out against the winter sky, but spring has brought new growth and white blossoms and its beauty and renewal inspire us. At the ceremony we wore white and green ribbons to represent the colours of the blossoms


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