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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2920 ..


in the long-term interests of the territory, a visionary project that will actually benefit this community for decades, if not a century or more to come. And I stand by it as a great project.

At its heart, this motion today has got nothing to do with the urban forest. It has got nothing to do with street trees. This is a motion attacking the arboretum and, in attacking the arboretum, attacking me. So let us just be honest about it: this motion has got absolutely nothing to do with the Liberal Party’s confected concern for trees. It is as patent and as blatant as that.

The government is more than happy to support Ms Le Couteur’s amendment. In large measure, it quite genuinely reflects what the government’s intentions have been all along and we are happy to support it.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (3.48): Jon Stanhope will go down in history, when he leaves this place, as the great tree killer. It is hypocritical to say that you support trees, that you love trees, that you hug trees, that you have got daggy trees, and then rip $11.238 million out of the budget as a saving because you have mismanaged the budget so poorly. That is the problem: Jon Stanhope, the tree killer. If you listen to the Chief Minister, you would think he was the only one that has ever planted a tree. He has just discovered trees. He is “Mr Tree”. But he will be remembered as “Mr Tree Killer”.

I can remember, as the Minister for Urban Services, last century even, going down to the urban forests that connected some of the primary schools that used to exist in Kambah and Wanniassa, that are no longer there. Mrs Dunne will remember great individuals like Tony Gray, who was fabulous on this issue, who really understood that you were either a tree planter or you were a tree killer. We were down there with the school kids, because we had programs back then in the late 90s and early 2000s to renew urban trees, street trees, trees out in the wilderness areas—trees all over the territory.

But, according to Jon Stanhope, who will be remembered as the great tree killer, he is the only one who understands or knows how to do this. It is just preposterous. And to exacerbate matters, he is then backed up by the Greens. The Greens, the great defenders of the tree, the great defenders of Canberra suburbs, the great defenders of the bush capital, have betrayed them today by saying: “We will not do it this year. We will put it off for a year. We won’t tell you where the money is coming from, but we trust the tree killer to put it in next year’s budget. We trust the great tree killer.” That is the problem with the amendment put forward by Ms Le Couteur today: it allows the tree killer to get away with it. And he will get away with it. People will now know that the Greens—remember third-party insurance—have now committed the next act of third-party insurance fraud by not standing up for trees in the ACT.

Mr Stanhope went to the part of the document that he tabled last night. For those that were not here last night, we have a standing order 213 that allows members to call for a document; not the speech, the document—if you go to the Companion to the Standing Orders, it explains this rather nicely—so that members may make their own judgement of whether or not the member using “the document” is portraying it accurately. We did not get the document, because the Chief Minister was slipping


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