Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 August 2010) . . Page.. 3867 ..

relation to which there was not unanimity amongst stakeholder groups in relation to all aspects of the plan of management. There were only a couple of those issues. I think the two most significant of the issues where different organisations, different groups, had different perspectives around an appropriate level of usage of Namadgi, was, firstly, in relation to camping at Tidbinbilla. Others, of course, were in relation to—

Ms Hunter: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I need to be clear here. Mr Stanhope, my question was about Tidbinbilla nature reserve and the ACT government already permitting overnight camping at Tidbinbilla, given that the current management plan actually says it is inappropriate and prohibits it.

MR SPEAKER: The Chief Minister.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you. I was actually giving some context of the negotiations. I apologise to Ms Hunter if that context and that background are extraneous to her interest. I thought it might be of interest to others and those that look avidly, of course, at the Hansard in relation to the background of the issue that we are discussing and in relation to which I am responding.

In the context of camping at Tidbinbilla and Conservation Volunteers Australia, indeed it was in March 2009, some significant time ago—indeed a year ago—that the Department of Territory and Municipal Services entered into an agreement with Conservation Volunteers Australia in relation to their role and function in Tidbinbilla. That particular relationship has been an outstanding success and we look to continue to expand it.

Under the arrangements that have been entered into between the department and Conservation Volunteers, there was an understanding that Conservation Volunteers Australia would offer a range of experiences for visitors to Tidbinbilla, including the possibility or the prospect of overnight stays at Nil Desperandum. To the extent that this is inconsistent with the now concluded final plan for Namadgi and the extent to which it is inconsistent, I will need to take some advice on that. I think that is the background surrounding the nature of an agreement that was entered into 18 months ago with Conservation Volunteers Australia.

As I go to the management plan, it notes the potential—I believe this is taken from the final—to introduce commercial activity into Tidbinbilla nature reserve to enhance visitor use and enjoyment. It goes on to conclude that low-impact activities such as nature tours may be allowed in the national park.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?

MS HUNTER: Minister, what has changed at Tidbinbilla such that the new draft management plan says that camping is to be investigated as an acceptable activity within the park?

MR STANHOPE: In the context of that particular investigation in relation to camping, it does suggest that it is an activity that needs further consideration, but in

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video