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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (22 May) . . Page.. 1632 ..

MS HORODNY (continuing):

industry today. The huge volume of value-added products is already coming from plantations, while native forests are being used for a quick dollar for overseas companies at the expense of our economy and our ecology here in Australia. While we debate the sale of Telstra to put funds towards correcting some of our environmental degradation, we continue to allow wholesale destruction of huge areas of forested land in Australia, with little or no environmental accountability by these companies. This is absolutely absurd.

Last week there was a protest in nearby Monga State Forest, which is an area of pinkwood rainforest. These rainforests are the last examples in the world of these types of ecosystems, yet State Forests are logging these communities. This will expose these areas to increased fire threats, feral animal invasion and all the other problems that ensue when these areas are degraded and destroyed. Mr Humphries recently made a statement on endangered species in the ACT, again paying lip-service to endangered species. But I say to Mr Humphries that endangered species cannot be protected in isolation. As I have already said on a number of occasions, we need to ensure that ecosystems are protected and, as consumers in the ACT of wood that is grown in important ecosystems, we need to look at this issue very carefully to ensure that we are not simply importing it and creating problems in other areas, yet washing our hands of it by saying that here in the ACT we are plantation-based and, therefore, it is not our problem.

Mugga Mugga Homestead

MR WOOD (4.05): Mr Speaker, I want to make some comments about one of the great assets of the ACT - the Mugga Mugga property - with which members of this Assembly will be quite familiar. I should comment on the generosity of Miss Sylvia Curley, who has donated that property to the ACT community. The property has long been in her family. There is a long history of residence there, and Miss Curley lived there until relatively recently. She remains a very active, dedicated and alert lady, and she has done a great deal to get that property restored and up and running as one of our historic sites.

I want to pay credit to officers in the Heritage Unit who, with others, have provided expert advice and assistance in the way that the original building has been refurbished. It has been done with great sensitivity and with a very good feeling for the times in which that building was occupied. I should also pay credit to a great number of people in the community, including government agencies, who have provided an education resource centre on the site. It has been constructed in sympathy with the building and it is some little way away, not obvious when viewing the historic building and so not at odds with the site. I think it was Mr Humphries who, some months ago, opened that education facility and launched the refurbished Mugga Mugga homestead. The original building is not in pristine condition, and it was not intended that it should be; but both areas have been done very well. The CFMEU was one of those bodies that provided very substantial assistance in getting the education centre up and running.

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