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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 7 October 2021) . . Page.. 2855 ..

Two new reserves have been added to Canberra Nature Park over the last year and the total area of the combined reserves now exceeds 11,000 hectares. The conservation estate is undoubtedly Canberra’s most valuable asset and is highly valued by the community. All of the reserves are public land, protected from development and accessible to all for nature appreciation and nature-based activities.

As members can see, planning and land management in the ACT play a very important role in biodiversity and protecting our threatened species. Not only does the planning system, and more specifically the Territory Plan, allow for considered and balanced land use; the land management system makes sure that the flora and fauna, and in particular threatened species in our nature reserves, are protected into the future. And it is because of good planning that we enjoy our open and green space. Our parks and reserves not only help make us a great city but also help improve our health and wellbeing. I am very proud to be the minister responsible for this important portfolio and will continue to ensure that we remain a sustainable and great place to live and work.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Mental health—World Mental Health Day

Ministerial statement

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee-Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (10.59): This Sunday, 10 October, is World Mental Health Day. The ACT government is pleased to partner with the Mental Health Community Coalition, which coordinates Mental Health Month in the ACT. I thank MHCC for their hard work, flexibility and commitment to delivering a wonderful program of vibrant and accessible events, despite the challenges of COVID-19.

This year’s theme is “Navigate your mental health”, and MHCC have organised a range of activities to help all of us navigate the ways in which we can look after our own mental health, and support those around us. This includes the Navigate Your Mental Health Trail! app, with daily activities to support mental wellbeing; an online mental health and wellbeing expo; a range of community events; and the ACT Mental Health Month awards on Wednesday, 29 October. The ACT Mental Health Month awards ceremony is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate important achievements in supporting people with mental illness and addressing stigma and discrimination. The awards also celebrate the contribution that people with lived experience of mental illness make to our community.

In our work to develop policies and programs that continuously improve services for people experiencing mental illness, it is vitally important that we do so hand-in-hand with people with lived experience. I am immensely proud of the co-design and consultation work that the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing and ACT Health have done, and continue to do, with people with lived experience. Mental health month is also a time to extend a hand to our family, friends and neighbours and ask what we can do to support their mental health and wellbeing. The more we engage in,

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