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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 24 September 2015) . . Page.. 3518 ..


So I think right across the board there is some very good and sustained work going on to control weeds in the ACT. But of course there is always more to do. I agree—and this was one of the comments from the conservation council—that consistent funding is important because weeds require effort year after year and certainly I will continue to advocate with my cabinet colleagues that we have a strong and sustained program to tackle weeds in the territory.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Thank you, minister. Why didn’t the government consult with relevant groups such as the conservation council before making these cuts?

MR RATTENBURY: I have regular meetings with the conservation council and I discuss a range of things with them, but at the end of the day, the cabinet makes a decision on what will be in the budget and ultimately the conservation council is not part of those final decisions. Nonetheless, I will continue to consult with the conservation council and a range of other stakeholders. I regularly talk to key people from ParkCare groups across the city. I go to visit them at the sites. I have a pretty good insight into what is going on out there in the field. Of course, we will also continue to talk together to make sure we are getting the best possible outcomes with the money that is available.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, why has the government reduced funding for weeds management without a scientific basis for its decision?

MR RATTENBURY: I refer Ms Lawder to my original answer to Mrs Jones’s first question.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, what impact will this reduction in weeds management projects have on ecosystems around the territory?

MR RATTENBURY: As I outlined in earlier answers, there is still a significant amount of weed control work going on across the ACT. The parks service has a strategic plan; they of course focus on the highest priority weeds, and there is a clear system for ranking weeds in terms of both their potential impact—the speed at which they might spread—and whether they are new to the ACT and more containable or whether it is a weed that has a further degree of spread across the city and is harder to contain. There is an ongoing ranking process. Weeds are a problem across the territory, and I am committed to continuing to work with the Parks and Conservation Service, volunteer groups around town and NGOs to make sure we have the best possible weeds strategy.


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