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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 September 2018) . . Page.. 3808 ..


their impact on the environment. While recent events reflect that backflipping, and saying one thing one day and something entirely different the next is de rigueur for the federal government, this still beggars belief. It makes no sense and it is irresponsible, given that one government’s decision stands to reverberate beyond New South Wales.

Indeed many people inside and outside Canberra are so outraged by the New South Wales government’s legislation that they are walking all the way from Sydney to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko in protest. A number of Canberrans will be involved in the 35-day “Save Kosci” protest walk on 3 November, which is supported by the National Parks Association of the ACT and the Canberra Bushwalking Club. I encourage those who want to get involved to sign up on the website at savekosci.org.

Would any government prioritise foxes over biodiversity and wildlife? No. Would any government prioritise rabbits over biodiversity and natural wildlife? No. So why is the New South Wales government prioritising this introduced, feral species? It is because, embarrassingly, it has fallen victim to a romanticised notion of brumbies roaming through the high country, synonymous with Australian folklore, nostalgic folklore, such as Banjo Paterson’s famous poem The Man from Snowy River. But if we are to protect the exact environment that Banjo Paterson describes—the “pine-clad ridges”, the “rolling plains”—we cannot support the New South Wales government’s legislation. To prioritise the nostalgic value of this introduced species over the need to protect our native fauna and flora is a huge mistake.

I call on members in this place to unite today in condemning the New South Wales government’s legislation, and to call on the New South Wales government to reverse this careless decision. If the New South Wales government refuses to do so, the federal government should intervene.

This is about the ACT, but it is not just about the ACT. It is about our environment now, but it is also about the legacy we are leaving for future generations. The potential outcomes of one government’s reckless actions on a sensitive environment covering a significant area that crosses borders are horrific and likely irreversible. Every action must be taken to ensure this irresponsible, stupid and poor policy is dumped. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MS LEE (Kurrajong) (3.52): The natural environment and how we interact with and preserve it are a very important area for me as the shadow minister for the environment. The presence of brumbies in our region and how governments at all levels respond to them is an important topic.

But once again we have a motion from the Labor backbench that speaks to a need to say something, even if it calls for action regarding things that are fully outside the control of this chamber. This motion, which is almost essay length, speaks in great detail about New South Wales legislation. It speaks in great detail about New South Wales national parks and the number of feral animals that are, or could be, present there, and how, in plague-like numbers, these feral animals—pigs, dogs, foxes, rabbits, goats and horses—could cross into the ACT national park space. This is a very emotive motion, and I am sure Ms Cheyne has a target audience that she is wishing to


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