Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 August 2008) . . Page.. 2819 ..

it. You can guess what’s in it, and you can make recommendations on the basis of your informed guess about what is in it.”

Now we came into this place and we did resolve that matter. It is unprecedented that we should have to do this. It is a strong condemnation of the chairman of the committee that I should be reduced to the circumstances where I have to override the process and come in here and move a motion to get a report published. Members of the ACT community—the people who pay the managers of Namadgi national park and the people who pay us—were unable to effectively contribute because of the actions of the chairman of the planning and environment committee. The chairman of the planning and environment committee was embarrassed into a situation where he was forced to table this report. As a result of that, we then had a situation where the community was able to make rational comment about what was is in the draft plan.

The other thing that is in the report which I think is of considerable moment are the recommendations in relation to the interim Namadgi advisory board. They relate to recommendations 3, 4 and 5 of this report. It is worth noting that the work of the interim Namadgi advisory board has gone unheralded, unnoted and unthanked by the Stanhope government. The setting up of the interim Namadgi advisory board was the work of the Carnell government, and I was pleased to serve under Gary Humphries when he made the offer to the Indigenous groups in the ACT to bring about a swift and appropriate settlement of outstanding land title issues in the ACT. This was a bold policy measure which was warmly welcomed by Indigenous groups in the ACT. It is very sad to see that this interim board has just withered away on the vine and that its work has been unrecognised by the Stanhope government.

Basically, Mr Speaker, the interim board just stopped meeting; the government stopped calling meetings. No-one has been given an explanation as to why its services were no longer required; no-one has been forthcoming as to what the future of joint management might be in Namadgi national park. The Stanhope government has been so ungracious to the interim Namadgi advisory board that they have not even written it a single letter of thanks to say thank you for the work it has done in relation to what was groundbreaking work. It was not easy. There were a whole lot of problems in relation to the remuneration of members; there were a whole lot of problems in relation to communication with members. There were extraordinary difficulties.

Members can go through the transcript and read what was said by members of the interim board about the difficulties that they experienced and the problems that some of the Indigenous people experienced because there were issues with remuneration. It was difficult for Indigenous members to even get to the meetings because they did not have travel money. They could not travel from areas in the region. They could possibly get to Canberra on a bus or a train or whatever, but the difficulties of physically getting the members who came here and did not have their own cars from Civic down to the meetings in Namadgi was enough to railroad some of the meetings. As a result of this, what started off as a bold policy initiative just withered away because no-one had the right set of tools to help these people meet.

Again, the Stanhope government, with all its feigned interest in human rights and Indigenous affairs and all of this, simply let a practical initiative like the joint interim advisory board wither away through lack of interest. The government were so

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . .