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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3089 ..

Of course, in any urban development, in any area of the city, there is the potential for some trees to have to be cut down in order to accommodate that new development. The question for government is what level of offset is provided and what new trees might be planted. The quality of the particular trees would be the matter under consideration. We have a process and that process has been followed.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, given that the 2004 concept plan recommended retaining a large site on the southern side of the central playing field where there is a large number of medium-value trees, what proportion of trees were retained on the site?

MR BARR: Mr Speaker, you would understand that I would not have that level of detail available to me at this point in time. Given that, again, the matter refers to 2004, or prior to my time in the Assembly, I will need to seek some advice from the Planning and Land Authority in relation to the specifics of the member’s question. I will take that on notice and provide information back to the Assembly after the winter recess.

MR HARGREAVES: I would like to know, given the minister’s comment that some tress may need to be removed to allow residential development, did that apply to the suburbs of Downer and Dickson?

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. I think it would inevitably have been the case that, as suburbs have been developed in this city, going back to the origins of Canberra nearly 100 years ago, undoubtedly some trees were cleared to make way for that development. New trees were planted, most particularly in Dickson and Downer, and, as a resident of Dickson, I am certainly aware that the trees in my street were planted subsequent to some of the development that occurred in that suburb. And I think I could be fairly confident in saying that a similar thing would have occurred in the suburb of Downer all those years ago, Mr Speaker, when that suburb was founded.

MS HUNTER: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Since 2009, when you made the Tree Protection Act applicable to Casey, has ACTPLA approved developments that will remove protected trees, contrary to the conservator’s advice to keep them?

MR BARR: From time to time the Planning and Land Authority must make difficult decisions in relation to the issue of trees, to ensure that we are able to conduct an orderly development process in this city. There is a formal process that is in place.

Opposition members interjecting—

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