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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 March 2010) . . Page.. 1215 ..


The other thing I want to take issue with Ms Le Couteur on is this natural burials issue. She says that we have got plenty of room up in the north. Well, I would like to know how any political party that does not have an elected representative living in the Tuggeranong Valley can represent the views of those people, when clearly the views of the people in the Tuggeranong Valley are that we need to have a southern facility. They have been agitating for a southern facility, a southern cemetery, for as long as I have been in this place. I can recall, in fact, taking up the issue before I was a member of this place.

When it comes to a crematorium, it is a necessary competition that has to be introduced. Now, what Ms Le Couteur has been saying—and I have seen it in that illustrious journal the Canberra Times, the purveyor of all things truth—is that the only thing you can have is natural burials down south. What about asking the people whose relatives have just died? What about asking them? That is what has happened: I got contacted to ask my views on it as a resident. Ms Le Couteur did not get contacted as a resident of the Tuggeranong Valley, because she is not one. Neither is Ms Bresnan. No member of the Greens is a resident of the Brindabella electorate. They are imposing their particular ideology on the people of Tuggeranong, and I will not put up with that.

Natural burials have their place. It is an option, as is having your relative cremated and kept handy and kept local, as is returning the body to the soil. There are some religions which have a specific way of doing these things, and we need to respect them. The Muslims, for example, have to be very, very quick. They are not interested in Ms Le Couteur’s natural burial system. They should have their rights respected. She is not allowing that to occur.

She talks about rejecting the government’s record on sustainable transport. Yes? I can remember Mr Rattenbury and me standing up at the Hellenic Club, both of us advocating the same thing—that is, the Downer to Woden on-road cycle path. We both advocated it. The Stanhope government was formed in 2001, and it started the process off. Now we have got on-road cycle paths all over the city. In fact, we saw in the paper today Pedal Power announcing that where, in 2001, we had something like 400 people on their cycles coming into the city, we have now got 2,800. That is sustainable transport.

We now have a completely different suite of buses being rolled out with energy efficient engines. What is that for? Sustainable transport. We have rejigged, if you like, the taxi system. We have got more taxis on the road; we get more people in the one vehicle; we have got the T2 lanes. None of that existed in 2001. So please do not come in to this place and say, “You’ve done nothing for sustainable transport.” That is wrong. If you want to say we can do more, we will agree with you. You know, bike racks on the front of buses—hello!

Madam Deputy Speaker, I will return to this report. People who are going to put reports in to this place need to do two things: they need to be accurate—this is not; and they need to contribute to the governance of this territory—this does not. Recommendation 11 is that the ACT government consider the recreation needs of multi-unit dwellers when deciding what landscaping to maintain or improve. That


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