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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 August 2008) . . Page.. 2818 ..


although the board was not formally terminated. The committee recommended that the future role, if any, of the interim Namadgi advisory board be finalised and that members of the board be thanked for their participation.

If the interim board ceases to function, the committee recommends that a joint management board be established for permanent cooperative management, taking into account the experiences and knowledge of the former interim Namadgi advisory board members. The committee also noted that the interim board experienced some difficulties with resources and support, including suitable remuneration arrangements, and it recommended that any future advisory board is appropriately resourced.

The committee also considered issues of biodiversity and conservation management in the park and made a number of recommendations to improve monitoring and reduce potentially negative impacts of park users on the natural environment. The committee recommends that the Namadgi national park draft plan of management be adopted, taking into account the committee’s recommendations.

In closing, the committee would like to thank all the officials and stakeholders who assisted the committee during the course of this inquiry. I commend the report to the Assembly.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.03): I thank Mr Gentleman for his comments in relation to the Namadgi inquiry into the draft management plan. There are a couple of comments I think that need to be made, and I will get the hard stuff out of the way. I think that this inquiry by the planning and environment committee, although not derailed, was made considerably more difficult, Mr Speaker, by the actions of the chairman in relation to the release of the report that we were inquiring into. We have had the debate in this place already about the tabling of that report.

To this day, Mr Speaker, I am unsure why the chairman of the planning and environment committee—and it was essentially his work—was so opposed to the tabling of the report. It created an air of suspicion amongst people who were interested in this report, which was unwarranted for the most part. All the advice that could be brought to bear seemed to fall on deaf ears, and the chairman was steadfastly opposed to the release of the report that we were working on. It is completely unprecedented that a member should have to come in this place and force the publication of a report into which we were inquiring so that the members of the community could give coherent responses and make a coherent contribution to the inquiry.

It became perfectly clear that there were things that were lacking in the final draft, as opposed to the first draft the community was working from. As a result of the things that were lacking, the committee has made recommendations about the reinsertion of a particular appendix that set out a range of actions and initiatives that should be taken by the management of the park. It seemed unnecessary for it to be removed. The main problem was that it was hard for anyone to have a coherent discussion about the revised draft management plan simply because the public could not see it. We, as members of the committee could see it, and we were essentially treating our public with extraordinary disrespect. We were saying to them, “We want you to make submissions to us about this revised draft management plan, but we won’t let you see


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