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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 7 April 2011) . . Page.. 1537 ..

extinct in the future. There is now at least a chance that future generations will be able to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of this species.

In terms of research there is a plethora of opportunities that arise whereby ACT government ecologists work in collaboration with local research institutions such as the ANU, University of Canberra, cooperative research centres, Actew or with other park agencies through the Australian Alps national parks cooperative management program to implement specific research programs focused on the natural and cultural heritage of the park.

By way of example, a research project that I believe exemplifies the efforts of the government through our very professional and capable park staff is the restoration of our special sub-alpine sphagnum wetlands and fens that were damaged in the bushfire. This research received funding from the commonwealth, New South Wales, Victorian and ACT governments and was undertaken by staff of four agencies and researchers including the ANU, La Trobe University, the Tasmanian government and the ACT parks agency.

It being 45 minutes after the commencement of Assembly business, the debate was interrupted in accordance with standing order 77. Ordered that the time allotted to Assembly business be extended by 30 minutes.

MR STANHOPE: Currently, research institutions are undertaking nine different research projects in Namadgi which include research into lizards, birds of prey, small mammals, soil ecology, plant transpiration and snow gum ecology. Park staff are also collaborating in regional climate change studies. The extent of the 2003 fire, where 91 per cent of the park was burnt to varying degrees of intensity, has also stimulated research in aspects of fire ecology, fire management, hydrology, water quality, riparian recovery and soil erosion.

Last year the Department of Territory and Municipal Services began the implementation of the 10-year fuel and fire management plan identified in the ACT strategic bushfire management plan.

The Australian Alps agencies also recognise that Aboriginal people have cultural and spiritual associations with the mountains that go back many thousands of years and their past presence is evidenced through the many archaeological and historic sites.

The government is addressing—and this is an issue that has been raised in presentations today—the Assembly’s recommendation that the role of the interim Namadgi advisory board be finalised. Individual meetings have been held with signatories of the 2001 agreement between the territory and the ACT native title claimants, and a workshop scheduled to explore more permanent options for cooperative management of Namadgi. Due to unforeseen circumstances, a number of signatories were unable to attend the workshop, which is now being rescheduled.

I know this is a matter of great interest and it has been raised this morning, but I can assure you that the government is firmly committed to the goals inherent in the recommendation in relation to the board of management and we are doing all possible to achieve an agreed outcome.

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