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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4301 ..

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Bresnan?

MS BRESNAN: Minister, how does what seems to be a dismissal of the worth of a tree register reflect the government’s commitment to preserving our significant urban trees?

Mr Coe: Phoning a friend there, Jon? Ask the audience.

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Bresnan. I must say that there is a degree of judgement within the question around the basis on which the conservator took his decision in this particular case, I assume. I just simply reiterate, Ms Bresnan—unless I misheard the question or misunderstood it—that the Conservator of Flora and Fauna exercised an independent statutory duty and responsibility in making the decision that he made in this case, based on criteria that I imagine are included within the legislation.

To say that the government has not taken this issue seriously or that people cannot take it seriously—we have invested in an independent statutory office, the Conservator of Flora and Fauna, the responsibility for these decisions, decisions that are made within a statutory framework consistent with the law. To the extent that I suggest there is an element of judgement, I hope and trust you are not suggesting that the conservator did not exercise his statutory responsibilities fully, appropriately and competently.

MR SPEAKER: Before I give you the call, Ms Porter, I would just like to make an observation. Mr Coe, your most recent intervention at the start of the Chief Minister’s response then reminded me that the constant interjecting by you and your colleagues and so many of the comments are not about holding the government to account. They are simply about personal derision.

I consider that to be unacceptable behaviour. I consider it to be disorderly under standing order 202. I have spoken clearly about this. I am at the end of my tether on this. I am making it very clear that I will clamp down on this conduct. It is one thing to make a comment about a policy matter. The simple schoolboy tactics of making derogatory comments across the chamber are not on. I cannot be any clearer about this.

Environment—Cotter Dam

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water. Can the minister provide an update to the Assembly on the major water security project for the ACT to expand the Cotter Dam?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her question, because we are seeing significant work now underway to invest in a very important water security project for the Canberra community. There is a range of works underway, including the Murrumbidgee-to-Googong project, the Tantangara transfer project and, of course, the upgrade of the Cotter Dam.

This expansion is on a scale that we have not seen since the construction of the new Parliament House in the 1980s. I have had the pleasure, and I know many members

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