Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

None . . Page.. 659 ..

It was the Minister who had to answer for those problems, and we want to be able to go on holding the Minister accountable for the management of such a huge portion of the ACT. Whilst I have no problem with your floating an idea, I think you should also understand that there will be times when you float ideas when you will get quite strident reactions, as has been the case - - -

Mr Humphries: I do not mind the reaction. I just do not want this motion.

MR MOORE: If you believe that the motion does more than that, then propose an amendment if you think that is appropriate. What we are saying to you is that you are not going to privatise the management of Namadgi National Park while this Assembly thinks it is inappropriate for you to do so.

Mr Humphries: It does not say that.

MR MOORE: Then move an amendment.

MR WOOD (4.23): Mr Speaker, the debate today is focusing quite properly on the importance of Namadgi, on its value to the ACT and beyond and on our care of the park. That is all very appropriate because it has been gazetted as a park now for only some 10 years. In that time, I believe, our officers working there - the rangers and others - have done a wonderful job. Mr Humphries has been honest and made it quite clear that the reason he is taking an interest in Namadgi is to do things more cheaply. That is something he is honest about, but it is something that alarms me enormously because it is the only consideration that he is giving to Namadgi. There has been no indication of his doing more. I, as Minister, would have liked to spend a lot more. We squeezed out every cent we could for Namadgi. I would have liked to do more, because there is so much that can be done there.

Let me give just one example of the economies that Mr Humphries was talking about. At one stage he was saying, “Privatise the toilets. Let someone come in and look after the toilets”. I would be happy if someone else could do that, but the fact of life is that it has to be done by the rangers. You cannot get anybody else to do it. The cost would be prohibitive if we were to get people to go there from Canberra or wherever - from New South Wales now, it seems - just to do the rounds of the toilets. It would be ridiculous. I had thought until today that Mr Humphries and Mrs Carnell had got the message, because the issue had been dropped very rapidly. But it seems that Mr Humphries now is rethinking his position and has told Mrs Carnell to butt out. He wants to talk about getting the Commonwealth authorities in on the act. That makes me even more alarmed.

I do not want to mention the merits of Namadgi, because I think they speak for themselves; but I want to focus on the messages behind this continuing debacle. Those messages say a lot about this Government. They are very revealing. The first of those messages indicates that this Government has such little knowledge of the park.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .