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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1417 ..


Thursday, 13 May 2021

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms Burch) (10.00): Members:

Dhawura nguna, dhawura Ngunnawal.

Yanggu ngalawiri, dhunimanyin Ngunnawalwari dhawurawari.

Nginggada Dindi dhawura Ngunnaawalbun yindjumaralidjinyin.

The words I have just spoken are in the language of the traditional custodians and translate to:

This is Ngunnawal country.

Today we are gathering on Ngunnawal country.

We always pay respect to Elders, female and male, and Ngunnawal country.

Members, I ask you to stand in silence and pray or reflect on our responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Nature—Canberra

Ministerial statement

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (10.02): In making a statement around the importance of nature in our city, it is particularly important to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we are meeting, the Ngunnawal people. I respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

For tens of thousands of years, and to this day, Ngunnawal people have maintained a deep physical and spiritual connection with country and a cultural responsibility to care for it. They are part of country and are not separate from it. Their connection is often described with a simple phrase, “If we care for country, country will care for us.” When it comes to caring for and repairing our land and waterways, we have a lot to learn from Ngunnawal people. Our city’s liveability and the wellbeing of the ACT community are dependent on the environment.

We all celebrate the bush capital, from our expansive national parks and reserves to our urban parks and connected green spaces embedded within the city areas. Our “living infrastructure” encompasses a diversity of natural elements and features such as wetlands, the urban forest, mountain-tops and ridges, and green refuges that have been incorporated into the design aesthetic and functionality of the city.

Nature is integral to Canberra’s design. As the nation’s capital, Canberra was designed from its inception in 1913 to be a “city in the landscape”; to be nestled amongst forested hills and situated astride the impounded waterway of the Molonglo River and Lake Burley Griffin. Geometrically ordered thoroughfares, public spaces, national monuments and architectural features amidst a mosaic of green space and


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