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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 August 2018) . . Page.. 3332 ..


renewable energy, urban renewal and affordable housing, we are committing ourselves to creating a city that is attractive, affordable and considerate of the environment. By investing in the preservation of our natural landscape and wildlife, we are ensuring that our growth does not come at the cost of the environment. Instead, we are making sure that it thrives, as we do. Madam Deputy Speaker, with this budget we will make sure that as Canberra continues to grow, our lived environment continues to be of the highest standard.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.32): I am pleased to speak a bit today about heritage. During the estimates committee process, we talked quite a bit about potential Apollo 11 anniversary projects, as we are now less than a year away from the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

One of the things we discussed was the upgrading of the track between Orroral Valley and Honeysuckle Creek, including the Orroral geodetic dome. It is a lovely area, and will be a beautiful walk, I am sure. I am looking forward to doing it myself once it is ready. However, it is largely going to be inaccessible to people who participated in that mission back in 1969. The upgrade is going to be suitable for an able-bodied person, according to the budget papers.

It was interesting to gently question the minister and his staff as they waxed lyrical about the importance of the Orroral Valley tracking station to that moon landing in 1969. Of course, Orroral Valley did not take part in that particular mission and did not take part in the moon landings until one of the Skylab missions, in about 1975, to my memory.

There will also be a phone app to go with the walking track. The app will use the existing ACT heritage tracks app, so in effect there is not a lot new there. I know that a number of the people who worked at Tidbinbilla and at Honeysuckle Creek, and Orroral Valley—many of them are technicians, engineers and operators—are very tech savvy, but not all of them are using apps at this point in their life. I encourage the minister to keep working with relevant ex-staff and workers at the tracking station to identify suitable projects.

I am a bit disappointed that it was not specifically mentioned in the budget. There was a grant process, and there was provision for the walking track, but the walking track, of course, could have been done at any time; it is not necessarily linked to the Apollo 11 anniversary. Time is running out to ensure that there are appropriate commemorative activities. I listed many of them, including in a motion in this place, a few weeks ago.

Going to the heritage assessment backlog, it is at 93. That is down from 320 ten years ago, so that is a good improvement. On average, that is 22 per year. At this rate, it may be another five years until the backlog of assessment is completed. We have spoken before about whether that particular area is adequately resourced to undertake the work. The minister assures us that that is the case, but at this rate of clearing of the heritage applications I remain to be convinced.


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