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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 November 2021) . . Page.. 3555 ..


pollinators. It was a bit difficult to have the picnics because of the rain last week, but lots of events happened.

The majority of our pollinator species are wild and include native bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, birds, and bats, that we talked about today. Honeybees are also important pollinators and are the most widespread managed pollinator in the world. Here in the ACT we are fortunate to have an abundance of local pollinators and a healthy network of over 900 beekeepers.

Why are pollinators so important? By transferring pollen while foraging, they cause pollination to occur. It is an essential part of the fertilisation process leading plants to develop seeds and fruit—seeds and fruit that will feed countless animals in the world, including us. This includes the plants that produce much of the food we eat. Apples, avocados, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and onion crops are all totally dependent on bees for pollination. Without them, our diets might have much less variety. Pollinators also drive biodiversity. Over 75 per cent of the world’s flowering plants rely on pollinators to reproduce.

The significance of pollinators in the ACT cannot be overstated—from the sturdy, rare green carpenter bee to the iconic, hardworking, blue-banded bee. Our floral emblem, the royal bluebell, takes its distinctive shape and colour from its need to attract the bees that pollinate it.

Canberra is a green and growing city, and we need to ensure that we support our healthy, lively, sustainable city into the future, serving both the people and the landscape, and building the capacity to preserve biodiversity. One of the ways that we do this is by establishing wildlife corridors. I am pleased to see what is happening in places like Ginninderry in Belconnen, where more than a third of the land is being set aside as a conservation corridor. Pollinator-friendly gardens will be created with plants that flower all year round to attract native bees and other pollinators.

The fundamental importance of bees for the future of the ACT requires us all to be aware of the extent to which we depend on our pollinators. Our future is in the hands of pollinators and those who protect them. We can all play our part. We can do this by thinking about what plants we grow on our balcony, in our garden or our veggie patch; by not using pesticides or insecticides; and by providing shelter for pollinators or building pollinator nests. There are many resources available, and I would be pleased to send a list to any interested member.

We are fortunate in the ACT to have such a diverse range of ecosystems and organisms, along with talented and dedicated people across all sectors, working and volunteering to support and maintain our local biodiversity. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge this important work and celebrate our small but wonderful pollinators for whom we have much to thank.

Protests—Blockade Australia

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (6.07): I want to speak today about the politically motivated prosecution that happened yesterday, just across our border in New South Wales.


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