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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2000 ..

The Canberra Liberals join with the Labor-Greens government to acknowledge and thank our hardworking and dedicated team of rangers and park staff for leading the recovery effort, which, as the minister revealed, is well underway. This is welcome news to Canberrans and their families, who demand that our park infrastructure be well maintained and improved.

It is welcome news that, of the 70 kilometres of walking trails damaged by the fire and floods, a total of 50 kilometres of the worst-affected trails have been repaired. That is great news not only for our bushwalkers and families, but also the scores of groups who use the nature parks, ranging from scout troops and schoolkids to older Canberrans and people with disabilities.

We know that Canberra is a great place to live and raise a family. That is largely due to our cherished green spaces, parks and nature reserves. That is why I have raised concerns that parks and reserves are poorly maintained, nature strips are often weed infested, many streets in Canberra’s newer suburbs are almost treeless and the community is deprived of much-needed green space.

The Canberra Liberals share people’s concern about the loss of trees because we know how much our trees add to our environment, wellbeing and quality of life. Tree canopies are under threat, particularly in our older suburbs, with development leaving only a postage-size-stamp garden, and certainly no tree canopy planting.

Too many Canberrans are mourning the loss and lack of trees in neighbourhoods that are increasingly barren and grey. In my electorate of Yerrabi, you only need to visit Yerrabi Pond to realise the government still has a lot to do in making sure our parks, green spaces and waterways are pleasant for Canberrans and families, not eyesores that people are avoiding because there are so few bins, disgusting toilets, little seating and insufficient parking.

In conclusion, I join the minister in saluting a growing army of environmental groups and volunteers across the territory for their hard work, which includes weeding, pest control, repairing trails and so on. We thank the volunteers. Canberrans relish the natural environment that we are lucky enough to call home.

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (10.26): I thank Minister Gentleman for the statement and commend the wonderful work that is being done by ACT government land managers, ecologists, traditional owners and volunteers in rehabilitating Namadgi National Park.

I also take this opportunity to add some complementary information around the work that is happening to secure threatened species in a time of changing climate and to highlight the important work that environmental volunteers are doing to assist the recovery of this protected park. There are 53 ACT species and three ecological communities listed as threatened under the Nature Conservation Act 2014. This means that they have been assessed as likely to become extinct in the foreseeable future.

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