Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4008..
MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):
Community information sessions which encourage the use of energy-saving household devices such as showerheads and light globes are ways in which we can further deliver environmentally sustainable solutions to the ACT. I would also like to recognise the contribution to delivering environmentally sustainable solutions to the ACT which conservation groups such as the National Parks Association and the Conservation Council of the South East Region and Canberra are providing to Canberra. The National Parks Association supports a network of national parks and nature reserves to preserve Australia's rich and diverse national heritage. The network of nature parks and reserves is crucial to preserving ecosystems which sustain a variety of flora and fauna.
It often remains unsaid, but it is well recognised, that the support of natural landscapes in and around the ACT strongly combats the effects of climate change. It is well known that the reinvigoration of natural vegetation, particularly trees, contributes strongly to greenhouse gas abatement. That was highlighted recently in the New Scientist magazine.
This government's policy of planting large tracts of open land with trees—some 4,465,000 in the non-urban area and a further 30,000 in the urban area over the last few years—as well as locking away hundreds of hectares of nature park both within the city and the region for our children's future, is perhaps the strongest argument yet for any government to deliver on the environment.
I would like to commend the Stanhope government on the contribution it is making to delivering environmentally sustainable solutions to the ACT community. However, there is definite scope for improvement and expansion of these programs. I would welcome further developments in this area.
MR SPEAKER: The time for this discussion has concluded.
Education Amendment Bill 2006
MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Industrial Relations) (4.46): I seek leave to move amendments Nos 1 to 9 circulated in my name together.
MR BARR: I move amendments Nos 1 to 9 circulated in my name together [see schedule 1 at page 4021]. As I indicated this morning, the Education Amendment Bill was introduced in May to amend provisions relating to free education, enabling the minister to determine guidelines about charges for activities, services and facilities provided in relation to government schools. As is common practice when amending legislation, the government has used this opportunity to make a number of other