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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3350 ..

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Dr Paterson for the question. She has been a great advocate for her constituents, and I am delighted that together we are able to expand the recreational space in Molonglo.

The new nature precinct is part of the Molonglo River Reserve and provides views over the Molonglo River corridor and the broader Molonglo Valley. It offers great walking trails, river access, fishing, picnic sites and the chance to play and explore in nature. It also helps restore woodland and grassland habitat and conserve some of the region’s most threatened native plants and animals.

More than 10,000 new trees, shrubs and groundcovers have been planted, and more than 2,000 tonnes of habitat rock and 2,000 salvaged logs have been placed along the reserve. Numerous native trees were removed from development sites and reinstated intact as innovative pillars of habitat throughout the area, providing much-needed hollows for nesting wildlife.

The government has invested $10 million in establishing Namarag. Namarag is protecting nationally endangered box gum grassy woodland and rocky temperate grassland, providing habitat for threatened species. The area has some of Canberra’s best river access and is home to a wide range of native plants and animals, including the threatened pink-tailed worm-lizard and superb parrot.

DR PATERSON: Minister, how is Ngunnawal culture recognised and included in the reserve?

MR GENTLEMAN: The name Namarag is the Ngunnawal word meaning wattle. The name ties into the strong focus on celebrating the culture of the Ngunnawal as the traditional custodians of the area and their continuing connection to this particular site. Namarag celebrates Ngunnawal culture by showcasing art, storytelling and language. We worked closely with our Ngunnawal community in designing and constructing the park.

Lynnice Church, a local Ngunnawal artist, has her artwork showcased in various forms across the site. The story of the bogong moth is told through art on an immense half-acre scale at the Bugang Events Terrace. Bushtucker Terrace showcases native plants used for weaving, medicine and food. Namarag provides valuable opportunities for educational events, ParkCare activities and guided tours by providing creatively designed nature play facilities with bespoke features like the wedge-tailed eagle—or mulleun—nest.

Last week at the opening of the reserve, the pride that everyone involved in the project had in their work and their connection to our local Aboriginal culture were very clear to me. Namarag is an example I want to replicate across other parks, connecting more Canberrans to the traditional custodians of our territory.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how is the planning system protecting the environment and delivering reserves such as Namarag?

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