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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3721..

MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):

the need to develop a new plan has arisen to better deal with the challenges to the national environment, particularly in the current situation of climate change. Further, significant events such as the 2003 bushfires and the continuing drought were not factors taken into account in the original plan.

The forum was well attended by a mix of community, science and government representatives, and the emphasis was on reviewing the progress to date against the current plan for which, as I mentioned, scores were good, taking stock of that progress and learning about the current state of knowledge about the resource area and then developing aspirational and resource conditional targets for the next 10 years.

The plan focuses on four target areas—biodiversity, water, land and community—although several overarching and linking issues came out of the discussions at the forum, including the relationship between the ACT natural resource management plan, government policy and programs and especially the planning system; the impact of climate change; sustainability; and the changing population demographic. A newly revised plan will place the ACT in a good position to respond to the new funding arrangements for natural resource management programs likely to be announced by the Australian government in early 2007. The council is keen to engage all community stakeholders with an interest in our environment and natural resources, and the council will continue to consult with the community in finalising the revised plan by June 2007.

The natural resources of our territory are fundamental to maintaining the way of life we have come to enjoy. We all identify strongly with the image of Canberra as the bush capital, but this brings with it many natural hazards, such as droughts and bushfires, that we must learn to live with. Therefore, a deep commitment to the nature conservation and recreation areas of the ACT needs to be maintained through proper resource management. Overall, Mr Speaker, the forum was a productive two days in which all stakeholders were able to engage in reform of the natural resource management plan. I congratulate all who attended and I look forward to seeing the new plan issued next year.

Griffith library

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (5.01): I rise today to talk about the Griffith library rally on Saturday. I have talked here a number of times about how we are so critical of the fact that the library is closing down, but today I do not want to dwell on those issues so much; I just want to congratulate the community on getting its act together on this issue of concern. I want to congratulate particularly Margaret Fanning, the president of the Griffith/Narrabundah Community Association, and her action group. Christine Aldred was the organiser of a well-prepared petition with 2,500 signatures. Perhaps she might best be described as the general dogsbody of the campaign to appeal to the minister over the proposed closure of the library.

Wayne and other hardworking members of the Griffith library action group spoke quite eloquently, passionately and, I thought, with some discipline at the rally on Saturday. There were, of course, those who perhaps were not entirely disciplined. Understandably, there was a boisterous crowd, an emotional crowd. I think we would all understand that. I think even the minister understood that these people were disappointed and were quite upset. There was a bit of colour and movement there for the duration of the rally. Many people were wearing red to symbolise, I suppose, that the library has been the heartbeat

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