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MR STEFANIAK: As I said, I am happy - - -
Mr Hird: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The point of order is that the honourable gentleman opposite has asked the Minister for a reply to a question, but he keeps on interjecting and making statements. I ask you to rule on that, sir. You are in charge of this chamber, certainly not the Deputy Opposition Leader.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.
MS HORODNY: My question is addressed to the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning but today will be dealt with by Mrs Carnell. Gooromon Ponds at Dunlop are one of the few remaining areas representing this particular type of aquatic system in Australia. The ponds are currently being damaged through soil erosion caused by unauthorised four-wheel-drive access and trail bikes. I have been advised by the Department of Urban Services that fencing will not be erected in the area until after Dunlop has been further developed. What plans does Mrs Carnell have to ensure protection of Gooromon Ponds?
MRS CARNELL: I understand that most of the land in question is being transferred to City Services as the area is being developed for housing. Gooromon Ponds is actually in New South Wales, I understand. Certainly, unregistered motor vehicles are a problem in the area; but they are a matter for police, as are trail bikes or vehicles being driven in areas where they are not permitted. Police have been asked to investigate this problem. Residents seeing unregistered vehicles in this area causing damage are urged to take note of the vehicles and to inform the police. Any environmental damage in the ACT near the ponds will be investigated by the Parks and Conservation Service, and remedial work will be undertaken. Some soil conservation work has already been completed this year in the area, to close down tracks and to improve drainage. But, certainly, it is an issue that we take seriously. As we say, we would like more information from residents to ensure that this can be followed up and we can stop trail bike riders and people in four-wheel-drives from using unauthorised areas.
MS HORODNY: I ask a supplementary question. Does that mean that fencing will not be erected in the area? Fencing would obviously be a simpler measure than policing or asking residents to ring in.
MRS CARNELL: My understanding is that the ponds are actually in New South Wales, so determining to do that would cause us some deal of difficulty. But, if Ms Horodny would like a full briefing on this from the people in question, I am very happy to organise it.