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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 12 April 2018) . . Page.. 1408 ..

As with greyhound racing in this region, the rumours of the death of Cheech have been vastly exaggerated. He is alive and well and enjoying life, as most greyhounds in this area do. Again I must thank the minister for contributing to my ever-growing social media traction figures. It is good to see that once the minister’s staff have finished trawling through race videos, desperately hoping to find carnage, they can still spend so much time on my Facebook page.

After leaving this chamber, and in discussions with the media, the minister also asserted that the Canberra Liberals have somehow dropped the claim that the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club has an unblemished animal welfare record, which is quite simply not the case. In this chamber I have specifically asked the minister to detail every single animal welfare breach recorded by the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club or at the club in their nearly four decades of operation, and the minister has confirmed that there have been no animal welfare breaches.

The minister made mention of a number of incidents involving the death of dogs at the Canberra track since the announcement of the ban. If the minister believes that there have been animal welfare breaches involved in these incidents, surely as minister he can refer them to Access Canberra. He has not done that. Those incidents are not being investigated and the 100 per cent animal welfare record of the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club remains intact.

The great Community Values is going around again on Sunday night. Again the offer is open to all those in the chamber. He has drawn awkwardly in box 8. He is in the 10th race. We would love to see you there.

ACT Beekeepers Field Day

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (4.33): Would you bee-lieve it, another year has gone by and I have attended my second ACT Beekeepers Field Day. I can confirm that the event was buzzing, and I was on my best bee-hive-iour. But let me not sting you with any more bad jokes. This is quickly turning into a bee-grade speech. I am aware that Mrs Dunne has said in this place, “Mr Steel does not know how to joke,” so I will stop these bad jokes and get onto the bees-ness of this adjournment speech because bees are vitally important to the ACT. They are the bee’s knees.

Bees are crucial to the natural environment. They pollinate crops and wild flowers as well as support wider biodiversity. Two-thirds of Australian agricultural output is dependent on honey bees, and it has been discovered that bees have a positive impact on yield and quality of our crops. Without pollination by bees, food security is at risk, which means less food and less variety for everyone. There is a critical role played by bees and other pollinators and without a healthy pollinator population the ecological balance of the world is in danger.

In November last year Bunnings announced their plans to remove a pesticide known as neonicotinoids from their stores. There has been some concern about the pesticide, and some research has indicated that neonics may have a negative impact on bee reproduction as well as affecting bees’ navigation and immunity and bees not finding

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