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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 April 2008) . . Page.. 745 ..


But at the end of the day, when declarations of a nature reserve for Lawson are to be made, then further investigations would be made and advice taken on the precise boundaries of that nature reserve and the way in which it would be managed.

In a broad sense it is all those lands inside the fence, but not necessarily exclusively within the fence. Further advice, inquiries and environmental investigation would need to be undertaken before making those final decisions. But, in a broadbrush sense, I imagine we would adopt that approach.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Foskey?

DR FOSKEY: Yes, thank you. Could the Chief Minister please indicate a time line for this development of the ACT government managed lands, how the endangered grassland will be protected along with the three or four endangered species on the site, and how long the kangaroo population is allowed to remain?

MR STANHOPE: The ACT government has notionally included those parts of Lawson which it owns on the land release program for 2009-10. That is a notional land release time line for Lawson. That would be affected by decisions that the commonwealth or the Department of Defence make in relation to their land. It has always been the ACT government’s intention in relation to Lawson that a coherent program for the development of those parts of Lawson that would be developed, that are susceptible to development—in other words, those lands that would not be required for inclusion within a nature reserve—would best proceed if there were cooperation between the two governments.

In that regard, the ACT government has made overtures to the commonwealth in relation to both its intentions in relation to its land: does it continue to harbour the view that its land outside the fence, that land which it has acknowledged would not be included within a nature reserve, might be developed by the commonwealth for its own purposes, or would the commonwealth be inclined to sell those parts of Lawson that it does not require to the ACT government? The ACT government over recent years has made requests of the government of the commonwealth to clarify its position about its future ownership intentions. At this stage the commonwealth has not responded finally to those overtures or those requests.

I believe it would be best if the development of lands at Lawson were only managed by the ACT government, and that is a position that the ACT government has put to the commonwealth but to which the commonwealth has not yet responded, so I cannot answer completely and finally. That is why I say a notional release date of 2009-10, because it does involve and require a final position to be stated by the commonwealth.

In relation to the management, it would be our intention that Lawson be declared a nature reserve, but once again this is commonwealth land and in terms of its management the management responsibility currently falls on the commonwealth. It is for the commonwealth to make decisions about Lawson and it is simply not possible for us to answer. Will it be a nature reserve in 2009? That is up to the commonwealth. How will it be managed after 2009? That is up to the commonwealth. If it were a nature reserve, I would expect that it would be managed in the way that we manage all


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