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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 1999 ..

that we are amongst the first in Australia to trial new methods to help manage these species.

In May this year, thermally assisted aerial management was undertaken, with enormous success. Seventy-two deer were culled during this program compared to 12 deer removed through on-ground techniques in all of 2020. This is the first time thermal technology has been used in Australia to locate and control sambar deer. The knowledge and data gained out of this trial will inform future conservation outcomes for vertebrate pest management.

More work is planned to expand weed control operations to highly impacted areas throughout the park and engage volunteers in identifying and treating new incursions, continue with pest control and catchment stabilisation works and work with the Ngunnawal people to help better protect culture and the environment.

We know that Canberrans love their bush capital, especially Namadgi National Park. The many volunteers who care for the park are a testament to this. Since the fires, we have partnered with the Orchid Society of Canberra to monitor populations of 20 rare, fire-sensitive plant species, including eight beautiful orchid species. Volunteers have also worked with our ecologists to monitor fire impacts on eight fire-sensitive or threatened ecological communities.

As we continue with our journey of recovery, volunteers will be a critical element of our success. Namadgi National Park has greatly benefited from the commitment, passion and enthusiasm of so many. Our challenge now will be to make Namadgi resilient, to use our ingenuity to counter the adverse effects of climate change and to direct our energies to where it has the best outcome for our precious national park. This government will partner with traditional owners, land managers, ecologists and volunteers to do just that. I present the following paper:

Recovery and management in Namadgi National Park—Ministerial statement, 24 June 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (10.23): The Canberra Liberals are ambitious for our territory’s environment and future. We strongly believe that nature must be respected and protected. As the Canberra Liberals shadow minister for the environment, I welcome and am pleased to speak on Minister Gentleman’s ministerial statement about the recovery and management of Namadgi National Park.

Canberrans are proud of our green spaces, nature parks, reserves and waterways, which, as the minister rightly pointed out, comprise more than 65 per cent of the ACT. We are well aware of the devastation caused by bushfires early last year and the severe storms that wreaked havoc soon after.

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