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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (18 April) . . Page.. 1081 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

the decision. I was told that I should abide by the umpire's decision; that the umpire was going to make a decision and I should await that umpire's decision. So, Mr Speaker, chastised, I took my medicine and decided that I would indeed accept the umpire's decision. Come hell or high water, a kangaroo in every backyard, I would accept it; I was going to abide by the decision of the umpire.

Mr Speaker, when I received the Kangaroo Advisory Committee's final report, or the report for this stage, I issued a press release. In fact, I will table that press release in a minute. In it I clearly stated that we accepted all the recommendations of the committee with respect to kangaroo management. The report states:

.. where it can be demonstrated that significant impacts on the economic viability and ecological sustainability of rural leases are due to kangaroos, then damage mitigation by localised shooting be permitted.

Ms Follett: Shame!

MR HUMPHRIES: Ms Follett, I think, puts her finger on the pulse there. Ms Follett says, "Shame". She does not agree with the Kangaroo Advisory Committee. That is quite clear.

Ms Follett: I do not agree with shooting kangaroos.

MR HUMPHRIES: Okay, she does not agree with shooting kangaroos and therefore she is opposed to what the Kangaroo Advisory Committee has recommended. With respect, Mr Speaker, those opposite cannot have it both ways. They cannot, in October, lecture me for not abiding by the umpire's decision and yet, in March, tell me that I should reject the umpire's decision. Which is it to be?

Ms Horodny: Read the recommendation properly.

MR HUMPHRIES: I have read the recommendations.

Ms Horodny: Properly. Onus of proof.

MR HUMPHRIES: They say that "damage mitigation by localised shooting be permitted". Mr Speaker, Ms Horodny has bought in. She made some comments at that stage about the need for property management plans to be in place and that they have to be there before shooting can begin. With respect, Mr Speaker, the report did not say that there must be property management plans in place before shooting can begin. That is not what the report says.

I thought, "There is some confusion here. Let me make this absolutely clear by discussing it directly with the person who chaired that committee, Professor Rodger". I posed this question through my office: "Are you saying, Professor Rodger, that we are not allowed to cull kangaroos until property management plans are in place?". Professor Rodger came back and said no. He advised that we can cull kangaroos this year on the basis of the criteria in the report. The release that I issued on 6 March this year, which I now table, was cleared directly with Professor Rodger. I table that release.

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