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MR OSBORNE (4.47): Mr Speaker, it seems to me that the Government is flogging a dead horse here. Last week this minority Government floated the idea of giving the management of our national park and water catchment to the New South Wales Government - New South Wales is in the middle of a severe drought - but it recanted within 24 hours. It seems to me that the issue is not maintaining public ownership and management of Namadgi National Park; rather, it is the processes of this minority Government. If it thinks our public service, our park management, is inefficient, it should be showing some political will to improve it. Public servants can only administer what politicians decree. If that is too much for the Government, if that task is beyond them, God help us all. I am quite prepared, as I suppose Michael and the Greens are, to sit in those four chairs if it is out of their control. Am I right, Michael?

Mr Moore: Absolutely. If they cannot handle it, we are prepared to do it.

MR OSBORNE: If the management of our national park leaves something to be desired, is that the fault of the public servants? Should not the responsible Minister be getting his act and theirs together?

Equally importantly, if the issue Mrs Carnell and Mr Humphries had in mind last week was how the park should be managed, they should have consulted us, this house, and our community. I repeat: This is a minority Government. During the election campaign the Liberals talked long and loud about proper consultation and the town council approach of the ACT Government in their decision-making. That crazy kite flying exercise last week was deplorable. I call on this minority Government to act responsibly in its administration and properly in consulting with us. The Minister said yesterday, “If you have an idea that is worth considering, put it on the table for stakeholders, members of the public and, of course, members of this place to consider”. Unfortunately, the Minister did not do that. I hope that he has learnt from this experience, because he has copped a hammering - and I must say that I have enjoyed it. I will certainly be watching out for any more crazy notions about the management and ownership of our public amenities and resources, in particular Namadgi, which just happens to take in three-quarters of my electorate. I will be looking for proper consultation rather than alarming headlines in the media.

MR SPEAKER: The discussion has concluded.


MR BERRY (4.50), by leave: I move:

That, in recognition of the special heritage and environmental value of the Namadgi National Park to the people of the ACT and the need to preserve the park for future generations, this Assembly will reject any changed management arrangements unless they are first endorsed by the Assembly.

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