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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 1814 ..

MR DE DOMENICO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Osborne has been briefed about the fact that - - -

Mr Moore: You did not say anything about the CPI, Tony.


MR DE DOMENICO: Am I answering Mr Osborne or Mr Moore, or whom?

MR SPEAKER: You are answering Mr Osborne.

MR DE DOMENICO: The Government will next week be announcing and tabling in this Assembly the regulations that Mr Osborne was briefed about, by the way. We will also be announcing the name of the person that will be nominated as commissioner. We have consulted with particular people, and I will not mention names until next week, when we announce formally who the persons are. As I said, and I repeat, there has been no increase in real terms in water prices this year. There has been a decrease in real terms.

Wild Dogs

MR MOORE: My question is to Mr Humphries as the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning. Mr Humphries, during the last 12 months, rural landholders in the Naas, Booroomba and Bullen Range areas, in particular, have reported substantial sheep losses due to wild dog attacks. These landholders claim that dogs have emerged particularly from Namadgi National Park. Will the Minister ensure that the dog trapper who has been trapping wild dogs will be kept on in a full-time capacity by your Government for at least 12 months to deal with this problem, or will you continue to allow the problem to grow?

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Moore for that question because it is timely to record what is transpiring in this area. For some time now the ACT has employed a wild dog trapper whose job it has been to attempt to reduce the incidence of wild dogs, and particularly to avoid the stock losses which result from those dogs' activities. I must say at the outset that the success of that trapper has varied very widely according to, apparently, the environment in which these dogs have been roaming in parts of the ACT. Until recently, there was a significant and demonstrable effect of having that trapper at work particularly in those parts of the ACT above the Namadgi National Park. However, in recent days it became clear that the effectiveness of that operation was rather limited, particularly in the most recent period.

I will give you some figures. During 1995, the number of dog attacks reported by lessees increased fairly dramatically. Between 21 April 1995 and 17 March 1996, a total of 40 dogs were trapped. That compares with a total of just 10 dogs in the whole of 1994. The average cost during that period April 1995 to March 1996 was about $375 per dog, or about $15,000 in total for the contract with a dog trapper. In the most recent period,

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