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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2303 ..

government intervention, government support and a deliberate decision more than a century ago to have an administrative capital that was wholly contained within New South Wales but a certain distance from Sydney. Canberra would not and this economy would not exist without those decisions. Almost everything that happens in Canberra clearly has a degree of government influence, be that federal or territory, although over time, as the population has increased and the economy has diversified, there is more activity that might be sustainable outside of the public sector ecosystem that is the basis of, and the reason for being, the city of Canberra.

Parks and conservation—World Ranger Day

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Planning and Land Management. Minister, what is the significance of World Ranger Day?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for her question and, of course, her interest in the management of ACT parks and reserves. Last Saturday, 31 July, was World Ranger Day. As the name suggests, this occasion is celebrated around the world. It provides a chance to reflect and thank those whose job it is to care for the environment that we live in.

It is also a time for acknowledging rangers around the world who sometimes face life-threatening situations and to commemorate those who have died in the line of duty. It is a day to recognise those who stand up to protect wildlife and ecosystems, sometimes on the front line of conservation. This may include active protection from poachers and illegal logging. Although it seems like an amazing job—and it can be—it can also be dangerous. Here in the ACT our rangers deal with dangers including venomous snakes, rescuing lost hikers and battling bushfires.

World Ranger Day is a time to pause and reflect on those working around the world who are killed or injured at work, but it is also a time to celebrate the wonderful work of our rangers and dedicated staff, who love their jobs and love our bush capital.

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Orr, a supplementary.

MS ORR: Minister, how are Parks and Conservation staff protecting our bush capital?

MR GENTLEMAN: Madam Speaker, as you and I know, from our many years in this place, our rangers in the ACT are extremely dedicated to their jobs. They have worked especially hard over the past year to give Canberrans more opportunities to enjoy our parks and reserves. During COVID restrictions, the ACT’s parks and reserves have been more valuable than ever for Canberrans.

Our rangers have worked tirelessly to maintain and improve them, including carrying out substantial repairs from bushfire damage. These efforts meant that Namadgi National Park was able to reopen to visitors earlier than expected. They have worked very hard to prepare for the upcoming bushfire season—

MADAM SPEAKER: Your time has expired.

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