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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2788 ..


It also contains precious little information about how much GST will be withheld by the commonwealth under its health reforms.

It is a budget that is not transparent, with ministers failing to inform the estimates committee of the most basic of information through the questions on notice process and refusing to detail their spending due to internal budgets having not yet been determined. Madam Assistant Speaker, the Canberra Liberals will not be supporting this budget.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (8.11): I will respond very briefly to the issues raised and thank members for their contribution. I think it is important in relation to any discussion around the TAMS budget and the role and function of TAMS to appreciate the particular pressures which we as a jurisdiction face in relation to supporting our city, our urban amenity, and our nature reserves and parks.

Of course, the ACT is blessed with the highest proportion of nature reserves—in excess of 50 per cent. It is interesting to reflect on that by comparing it with the level of nature reserves and parks in other jurisdictions and, of course, the relative level of effort required to support those parks and nature reserves to the extent that you would like or that you know people would expect.

The comparison is somewhere in the order of 52 to 54 per cent of the ACT is nature reserve. I am relying at one level here on my memory. But the next highest level, percentage-wise, for a jurisdiction in relation to nature reserves is Victoria where I believe it is 16 per cent. I could be corrected on that figure, but I believe it is in the order of 16 per cent.

Victoria, with its capacity, its size and its economy has the second largest area of nature reserve in Australia at about 16 per cent of its land mass. This compares with the ACT—certainly with a budget now approaching $3.5 billion—with 54 per cent of the territory as nature reserve.

The position is similar with our urban area. The level of urban open space, with the number of trees and the relative effort and resource required here in the territory to manage this garden city, is far in excess of any other council, city or jurisdiction in Australia. I understand that the ACT has 17 times more open space on a pro rata basis than the city of Sydney, a city of four million people. We have 17 times as much open space to maintain.

I just use those two examples to explain some of the particular issues or pressures that an ACT government, any ACT government, faces in the management of this city. Members need to be aware of that and sensitive to it in any reflection on funding decisions that are made.

As far as TAMS is concerned, in this budget there was very little new money, additional discretionary funding. We need to remind ourselves of the parameters


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