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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1209 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: I have already indicated in my letter that I regretted the fact that we overlooked the operation of the legislation.

Ms McRae: But you are the Attorney-General.

MR HUMPHRIES: I did. Ms Follett just quoted it. Clean your ears out, Ms McRae. The fact is that I did indicate my regret. Perhaps I did not grovel enough when I wrote the letter. Perhaps I should have put the letter in my mouth and walked into Ms Follett's office on my hands and knees and said, "Please take the letter from my mouth, Ms Follett". I abase myself before Ms Follett in apology for my error. I will organise the whips upstairs, and I will flagellate myself to make atonement for my egregious error. I am sorry.

O'Connor Ridge

MS HORODNY: My question is directed to the Minister for the Environment, Mr Humphries. I would like to ask you a further question about the fire trails that were bulldozed along O'Connor Ridge in the Canberra Nature Park.

Mr Wood: The freeways?

MS HORODNY: Indeed, it is a freeway. I asked you about them in the previous sitting period. Do you think it was good park management to proceed with the creation of these roads without any prior environmental assessment when, according to some local residents, this type of work was not routine maintenance because it had never been done to such an extent in the 15 years that those residents have lived in those areas, and given that part of the trails were bulldozed over the top of an old rubbish dump - which would surely be listed on the ACT contaminated sites register, if we had one - and cut along the edge of a patch of remnant native grassland which you recently declared to be an endangered ecological community under the Nature Conservation Act, and that this was done without consultation with the O'Connor Ridge Parkcare group, a group of volunteers you expect to help in the management of the nature park? The question is: Do you think that was good management, given all those details that were not attended to?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, frankly, yes, I do think it was good management. The fact is that that decision was based on an ongoing rolling program of maintenance of fire trails around the Territory which has been used for a long period of time by both this Government and the previous Government without controversy. Mr Speaker, I do not think that Ms Horodny has made any good case for us not doing things the way in which they were done. I personally have not been involved in talking to the O'Connor Parkcare group. If they have a concern, they have not - as far as I am aware - written to me about it as yet, so I take her word for the fact that there is some problem with it. They have not told me about it if there is.

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