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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4812 ..

MS HORODNY: I have a supplementary question. Can you also tell me why the department does not make greater use of native grasses for planting on the median strips, because they obviously do not have the same maintenance requirement for watering and mowing?

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Ms Horodny for the supplementary question. Yes, the Department of Urban Services has conducted trials of the use of native grasses for road verges and other similar areas. It has been found, though, Mr Speaker, that many areas are unfortunately unsuitable for native grass plantings. Some of the disadvantages of native grasses include difficulties in maintenance and in controlling weeds. Native grasslands cannot be consistently mowed, as this encourages weed growth, obviously, which can result in the planting reverting entirely to weeds and exotic grass growth. However, the department uses native shrubs and trees extensively throughout the ACT, and will continue to trial native grasses where appropriate.

School Bus Services and Drug Education

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Osborne, under standing order 116.

Mr Humphries: Come on, Dorothy. Ask the question.

MR MOORE: I am glad Mr Humphries has reminded me. I did give Mr Osborne some notice that I would be asking this question.

Ms McRae: It is a question on notice. That is cheating.

MR MOORE: It is a shame that Ms McRae does not understand the difference between a question on notice and a question without notice. Mr Osborne, you have two items of business on the notice paper. One is to do with the provision of school bus services; the other concerns drug education. Has the Government handled either of these issues in a competent manner? Has it fulfilled its election promise to establish a council for the family, which I am sure you have researched in detail and have made appropriate recommendations to the Government? That would have saved you having to put such notices on the notice paper.

MR SPEAKER: The question is out of order.

Mr Moore: No, Mr Speaker, the question is in order. This question is in order.

MR SPEAKER: No; I am sorry. Questions may be asked to elicit information regarding business pending on the notice paper, but discussion must not be anticipated.

Mr Moore: No, we are not going to anticipate discussion.

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