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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (17 April) . . Page.. 1008 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

fully employed. I think, Mr Wood, you should have a look at a press release that I put out last week, which suggested that it is very difficult, obviously, to determine how many people could or could not go, because we simply do not know at this stage; but the cost to the ACT of the sorts of figures that some State Premiers were talking about, very irresponsibly, last week was in the many millions of dollars. That is the cost to Canberra. That is the reason why we simply cannot allow Canberra to be targeted or picked on by the Federal Government.

I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning) (3.00): Mr Speaker, pursuant to section 6 of the Subordinate Laws Act 1989, I present Determination No. 29 of 1996, which was made pursuant to the Nature Conservation Act 1980 and published in Gazette No. S66 of 15 April 1996, together with the explanatory statement. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

The biological resources of the Territory are an irreplaceable community asset, part of our natural heritage which we have a particular responsibility to maintain and protect for both current and future generations. A fundamental aspect of responsible custodianship of our natural heritage is knowing what is in need of particular conservation attention. I am referring to those native species and ecological communities that are at risk of extinction if prevailing threats to their continued survival in the wild are not managed adequately. Under the provisions of the Nature Conservation Act 1980, the Flora and Fauna Committee has been established with responsibilities that include advising me of species and communities that are threatened with extinction and recommending that they be formally recognised by declaration. The committee is an expert scientific group and its advice is determined on nature conservation grounds only and in a regional context.

Today I have tabled my declaration of species and an ecological community that have been determined by the Flora and Fauna Committee to be under threat of extinction. They are classified according to the degree of threat. A species may be declared as either vulnerable or endangered and a community as endangered. This declaration is my acceptance of the first determinations made by the committee following establishment of its assessment criteria in July 1995. The committee has rightly focused on those items that are in most urgent need of conservation attention - Canberra's native grasslands, flora and fauna. This declaration recognised the regional significance and special conservation requirements of Canberra's native grasslands and a number of their component species. In doing so, it reflects findings of the State of the Environment Report and supports recent planning decisions for development of the Gungahlin Town Centre and the urban environment of Gungahlin.

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