Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 November 2021) . . Page.. 3508 ..
reptiles and our mammals, we are creating a safer space for biodiversity for all those animals who are vital to pollination and other ecosystem functions and for the animals themselves.
We really value animals as sentient beings and we understand that they deserve to be free from harm. We want them to enjoy their lives, and we want to remove any obstacles that threaten their safety. So when considering this motion, please remember that we are responsible for protecting that wildlife in our backyards. We are responsible for protecting it from the avoidable injury and from the avoidable deaths. Replacing old netting with animal-friendly netting is a really, really simple way to do that. I commend this motion to the Assembly.
MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (3.05): I seek leave to move the amendments circulated in my name together.
MS CASTLEY: I move:
1. In paragraph (1)(b), following “protect animals”, insert “and ecosystems”.
2. In paragraph (1)(g), following “actions” (first occurring), insert “of May 2019”.
3. In paragraph (1)(j), omit “a healthy environment”, substitute “our ecosystems”.
4. In paragraph (3), omit “1 January 2023”, substitute “30 June 2022”.
5. In paragraph (3)(b), following “develop”, insert “and implement in 2022”.
6. In paragraph (3)(c), following “develop”, insert “and implement”.
7. In paragraph (3)(d), add “by 30 December 2022”.
As shadow environment minister, I am pleased to respond to this motion and express the Canberra Liberals’ support for protecting the grey-headed flying fox, which is listed as a vulnerable species. There are sound reasons why this megabat has been listed as vulnerable and it follows that, as legislators, we put in place actions to protect it. So let us get on with it; let the government get on with it.
While the Canberra Liberals support the proposed measures to protect the grey-headed flying fox, including new laws for animal-friendly netting and an education program, why do we need to wait more than one year for this to happen? We should not. The motion rightly states that backyard netting injures our precious wildlife, causing cuts, strangulation and death. Clearly, we want to stop that. There is tripartisan agreement to stop that. So let us stop that as soon as we can. Let the wheels of government and bureaucracy spin to bring in these new laws by 30 June next year and no later.
The amendments that I have moved today bring forward new laws to protect the grey-headed flying fox so that, instead of waiting until 1 January 2023 for this legislation to be introduced, we move faster and have these measures in place by