Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2923 ..
MR KAINE (continuing):
has been set aside for conservation for Australians of the future. To the extent that tourists begin to go in there in large numbers, we need to have in place beforehand the management strategies and the management plans that will ensure that those people go where we think they should go, that their activities are controlled, and that the asset inherent in these tracts of land is maintained, as the intention is, for the future.
We have made a number of recommendations subsidiary to the major ones. We had considerable input from representatives from the local Aboriginal community. They wish to be involved in developing the potential for tourism in this area. They see it as land of particular value to them. They sought to be involved in its development for tourism purposes, and to have local Aboriginals involved, specifically, for example, to explain the significance of some of the sites in the ACT to the rest of Australia in terms of the cultural significance to the local Aboriginal people. The committee has accepted that it is reasonable that they should be so involved.
As I said, Mr Speaker, time is short. We are running late and we have a lot of business before the Assembly. I believe that the report is self-explanatory. I believe that, if the Government examines it carefully and picks up the recommendations that we have made, it will be beneficial for the Territory and it will be beneficial for other Australians who will have an opportunity to come and see the natural attractions here, which in many ways are quite unique. They are not quite like similar attractions elsewhere in Australia. I, for one, would like to see people using this enormous area of the Australian Capital Territory that has been set aside as essentially parkland and a wilderness area. I commend the report to the Assembly, and I hope that the community derives a great deal of benefit from it.
MR WOOD (5.20): Mr Speaker, we all know how beautiful the ACT is, not least the Namadgi National Park and the Canberra Nature Park, and we all know that we want to keep it that way. The committee believes it is appropriate that people beyond our borders also know that and have the opportunity to enjoy that fine area. I want to refer to a paragraph on page 34 which I believe is of considerable importance. It says:
The Committee also acknowledges that while this report focuses on identifying the potential for appropriate tourism opportunities, the overriding concern is the need to maintain the environmental integrity of Namadgi National Park and Canberra Nature Park. The Committee strongly asserts that nothing should be done that is not in the interests of the natural environment.
That is the first priority. Anything else comes after that. Recommendation 15 provides a response to what would be the most controversial views, and it says this: