Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2802 ..
Just briefly on heritage, I do need to mention that the Heritage Council has not been given any additional funds in this budget. This is a problem because there is a 10-year backlog of heritage applications to clear. I will in passing, as I am getting close to the end of time, mention one particular heritage building, the Yarralumla brickworks.
I understand that the LDA is still developing the management plan for this site and that public consultation is ongoing for this. We are very hopeful that there will be a good result here. We want one that takes into account the heritage value of the site and that is responsive to the needs of the community. I understand that there have been some problems with the initial consultation and this has resulted in the government returning the plan to its drawing board.
I would like to mention briefly the Public Cemeteries Authority, which I understand from a budgetary point of view comes under TAMS. We could not find it anywhere else. We are very anxious to see that the moves for the southern cemetery are well thought out. The government seems to be going full speed ahead on the idea of a crematorium, although the existing crematorium in Mitchell is not operating at full capacity. In fact, as a result of what we learnt at the estimates hearings, I understand it is barely operating at 50 per cent capacity. There really does not seem any reason why we would want to build another crematorium when we have two in Mitchell which are under-utilised.
There was a suggestion that another chapel could be built in Mitchell, because that, I understand, is the limiting feature of capacity for the crematorium in Mitchell, rather than the actual crematorium space itself. It presumably would be a lot cheaper and cost-effective to build a chapel rather than a whole crematorium.
The Greens, as is well known, strongly support the concept of a natural burial facility in Tuggeranong. We think that this would be a way of preserving some of the landscape values of the existing site while utilising it for burial purposes. As well as people being concerned about the environment, there are people who would like to see their final resting place be a place which preserves the environment. There are also some religious traditions for which natural burials are the most appropriate.
In conclusion, I would like to say that there are some good things in this TAMS budget, especially in the area of transport. There are also some bad things. I guess that trees and waste are ones that come to mind. The bits that are missing in transport come to mind.
In general, the budget is just a bit too business as usual. It is not really looking towards the future. It is looking to business as usual. I would be looking forward in the next budget to seeing more improvements, more looking to the future.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (9.01): I will take up where Ms Le Couteur left off, I think—on street trees—and I will say to Ms Le Couteur and the Greens: it does not have to be this way. There are enough numbers in this Assembly to say: “We do not want to see the street tree program slashed. We actually believe this is a bad idea, a bad use of resources and there can be savings found in