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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (24 October) . . Page.. 1968 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

Okay, he says that we need that. One would have assumed that we would be getting some money to do it; but no, it is simply not there. Once again he has agreed and once again he has done nothing to take us forward on this issue.

Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, we will shortly be getting the second report and I look forward with interest to that. I have to say how disappointed I am, personally and politically, at the failure of Mr Humphries in his budget to do anything at all to advance this report; to take these excellent recommendations, to take up the mountain of work that was done, and take us on some path of progress towards that better environment that we all say we want. The Minister's response is a bitter disappointment.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning) (4.47), in reply: When I heard some of the speakers, particularly in the earlier part of this debate, I thought I had stepped into the twilight zone. All sorts of things were being discussed, but not the subject at hand, which was the Government's response to the 1994 State of the Environment Report. What we heard from Mr Berry was a diatribe about the present Government's environment policies, which might be very edifying for us all but did not touch on the very important subject matter of this report. Mr Wood, to his credit, at least did go through this report. He picked up some recommendations that were made in the report and talked about the Government's response to them. At least that was to the point. I do not think Mr Berry has read the report, and I have to say that he probably does not understand it even if he did.

Just to run through the record, Mr Speaker, no, the Government did not fail to consult with New South Wales about smoke production in New South Wales. No, the Government does not propose to give away Namadgi National Park. No, there is no evidence at this point that there is any serious contamination of the Kingston foreshore. No, we are not proposing to start shooting kangaroos willy-nilly. No, we have not started to burn off during spring without consultation with local people. No, we have not repealed an existing operating tree preservation order.

Mr Speaker, having made those comments I am quite prepared to look at an independent assessment of the former Government's performance in the area of the environment. Mr Wood and Mr Berry can dismiss my comments on the environment - that is fair enough - and I am sure that they will do so again in public; but let us turn to another independent assessment of the former Government's performance on the environment, which Mr Berry was so anxious to extol, and assess what the World Wide Fund for Nature thought about the former Government.

Mr Wood: That was a political statement, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: You were framed. Mr Wood says that it was a political statement. You would think from hearing Mr Berry that he would get a report from some august body like the World Wide Fund for Nature, with the Conservation Council of the South-East Region and Canberra backing it up, which was at least an A, surely. Well, maybe even a B. A high C perhaps. No, Mr Speaker, the former Government got a C minus with a comment "Performance slipping". It was C minus, performance slipping, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. Mr Craig Darlington, in his press release that accompanied that report, talked about - - -

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