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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (14 November) . . Page.. 3441..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

in a year; that amount of water that 10 people consume in a year, except, of course, that this will be non-potable, non-consumable water. It will be bore water or grey water from the lower Molonglo-the same amount of water used by 10 people in a year.

Mr Smyth: Ten people or 10 households?

MR STANHOPE: That is our advice. That is the advice of Professor Peter Kanowski and that is the regime of those whom we have hired and on whom we will rely to keep these trees alive and water these trees. I am not an arborist or a forester. I and the ACT government rely on advice. We have plenty of advice available to us. This is a project with enormously broad support, with tremendous application. Indeed, the Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University just in the last two weeks has approached me with a prospect of entering into a memorandum of understanding with the ACT government for a joint future collaborative research project in relation to the enormous scientific benefits that the arboretum will present, and I look forward to negotiating and finalising that memorandum of understanding with the ANU so that we can better understand some of the implications of climate change on trees, on our capacity to grow them and keep them alive.

To suggest that climate change will not impact on those species that were previously planted here in the territory is naive. This arboretum potentially will have enormous scientific and other benefits for this region of Australia in the context of research that we can do through it, mindful of the fact that over time there have been up to 35 or 36 arboreta in the ACT, planted and designed for the very purpose of allowing scientific research into the different capacity and potentiality of different species of trees. The ANU recognises that and the ANU recognises the enormous benefit that this arboretum can provide. It is an approach from the vice-chancellor to me that has now precipitated the negotiation of a memorandum of understanding on the joint capacity for research, with a mind and eye to the future, to climate change and the different capacities of different trees in this environment. (Time expired.)

Bushfires-parks brigade

MR SMYTH: My question is directed to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, I refer to your quote in the Canberra Sunday Times on 5 November about the future of the parks brigade, when you said, "I don't give a rat's arse if the request comes from God; it's not going to be responded to."We are in the early stage of what is anticipated by experts to be the worst fire season since 2003. If a fire starts in the Namadgi national park, for instance, the parks brigade will be the first unit to respond. Minister, why will you not respond to questions about the future of the parks brigade, given the important role it plays in fighting bushfires?

MR HARGREAVES: I make the point that Mr Smyth is up to his old tricks again, quoting out of context. I indicated to the chamber earlier today the context in which that remark was made-it was about the demands placed on the public service to provide information with 15 minutes notice before they were to go home. In fact, if Mr Smyth were totally honest, he would quote the rest of that article and indicate to the Assembly that in fact that information was provided. It was provided to that report and it was provided by my office. I totally reject Mr Smyth's assertions entirely.

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