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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 3017 ..

last Assembly with me, in delivering the Franklin grasslands for the people of Gungahlin and for all Canberrans to go and visit. I had the pleasure of opening the grasslands with Ms Orr and the Canberra Friends of Grasslands. At the time I was given a very expert tutorial on the Ginninderra peppercress and the mycelial network, which I was very intrigued by. Our experts in Parks and Conservation do a fantastic job. In this budget we have allocated just over $3.2 million to Franklin grasslands.

MR BRADDOCK: What outcomes from this investment will visitors to the grassland be actually able to see?

MR GENTLEMAN: You will see that funding delivered not just for Franklin grasslands and our temperate climate grasses and woodlands across the territory, making sure that we can have plenty of opportunities for reserving those areas that are most important to us. Of course, there are lots of endangered species that live in these areas, so we want to make sure that we can do that. Each of these areas must have a conservation plan and a plan of management as we go forward. The offsets program helps us to fund these opportunities and gives opportunities for us, our children and our grandchildren to enjoy those spaces into the future.

MS ORR: Can you please tell the chamber how the focus on Franklin grasslands has brought a focus on Gungahlin grasslands and what the government is doing for those?

MR GENTLEMAN: As I talked about earlier, I think Canberrans really enjoy those areas. It is important that we set them aside. When we look at the Gungahlin area, there are quite a number of nature reserves set aside, including for vegetation, as in the Franklin grasslands. Of course, grasslands provide a very good opportunity to set aside an ecological footprint. We often talk about trees across the ACT and trees in our nature parks, but grasslands are an important way of preserving that habitat. It is a different habitat for different species of vegetation and different species of animals. There is a historic view to Ginninderra grasslands in particular.

Budget—emergency services

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, how is the ACT government investing in police and emergency services through the ACT budget?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Pettersson for his support of policing and emergency services across the ACT. We are continuing our strong investment in our police and emergency services in the 2021-22 budget.

We are making significant investments in our Emergency Services Agency, including: initial funding of $15.2 million to help modernise and sustain our ambulance service; more than $12.7 million for standard and low-emission vehicles and associated infrastructure; and over $2.4 million to upgrade critical ICT systems to increase the capacity at the emergency triple zero communication centre and the incident management room.

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