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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2913 ..

less amenity in our suburbs right across Canberra, that will ignore what we believe is a very strong and overwhelming wish of the community to see that amenity protected—or it can choose to go down another path. It will choose to go down a path that says the arboretum and other personal pursuits of the Chief Minister and the ACT Labor Party are more important than our urban amenity. I commend the motion to the Assembly, and I look forward to the support of the Greens on this motion.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (3.23): I thank Mr Seselja for raising the very important issue of street trees in Canberra. As I am sure Mr Seselja recalls, I introduced my own motion about the importance of street trees to the Assembly last year, on 11 November. I will talk some more about that in a moment.

First, I want to address the Liberals’ motion, which basically says that funding for street trees has been gutted by the budget and asks that funding be taken from the arboretum in order to fund street tree planting. We agree with one part of this but disagree with the other. When it comes to the central premise of this motion, we think that the Liberal Party is blurring two different issues together. I foreshadow now that I will be introducing an amendment which has just been circulated in my name. It addresses these problems and still guarantees that funding will be returned to the urban forest renewal program.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): Ms Le Couteur, do you want to move that amendment now? Then you do not have to foreshadow it.

MS LE COUTEUR: I think I will move it at the end of my speech. I am foreshadowing it at this stage.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: You can speak to it.

MS LE COUTEUR: If I can speak to both, I am happy to move it now.


MS LE COUTEUR: I move the following amendment that has been circulated in my name:

Omit all words after “residents of Canberra”, substitute:

“(b) that the ACT Budget has deferred funding of the Urban Forest Renewal Program; and

(c) the Estimates Committee report raised the deferring of the Urban Forest Renewal Program as a key issue; and

(2) calls on the Government to restore appropriate funding to the Urban Forest Renewal Program, in consideration of recommendations made by the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, by the 2011-2012 Budget, and to ensure that there are sufficient funds available to replace street trees where necessary.”.

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