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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 362 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

the Harcourt Hill estate. It is important, particularly in an area like Gungahlin, that every step possible be taken to protect remnant trees, preferably in a way that allows them to remain on public land. In that way we can ensure their long-term preservation.

If these remnant trees are incorporated into a private lease which is subsequently sold, members in this place would appreciate the difficulties in protecting them on a private lease once occupied by the new leaseholder. Equally, I think many members in this place would appreciate the problems associated with having old remnant trees in backyards where falling branches pose potential safety problems. It is far preferable in the planning process to have these trees protected, but protected in a way that guarantees their long-term viability. To do that, we should put them in a public land area.

The Labor Party will be supporting this motion this morning. I understand that the government is prepared to accept this motion, and I am very pleased to see that, because this land has been the subject of a dispute for some time, and it is about time the dispute was properly resolved.

MR RUGENDYKE (11.20): I too am a greenie, as much as anyone else in this place. I fully support the motion moved by Ms Tucker to protect this remnant woodland. For today, I will put my chainsaw away. I fully support the motion. I thank Ms Tucker for bringing this important issue to the Assembly.

MR BERRY (11.21): I am going to join the chorus of support for preserving some remnant woodland. I want to talk briefly about some of the principles which concern me about native trees in the ACT. Whether we like it or not, as the city spreads, there will be more and more pressure on native woodlands, particularly remnant woodland, principally from developers and later on perhaps even leaseholders who have these trees on their premises and want to remove them. All of us would know of constituents who have large native trees on their leases and how difficult they can be to manage. No matter how much you might like to have a large mature eucalypt in your backyard, they can be difficult to manage.

This debate this morning reminded me of a short trip I made into the country a week or so ago. As I was driving along on a very still day, I looked over into a paddock and saw a large gum tree, probably a couple of hundred years of age, collapse. That sort of thing in a backyard is life threatening, and you can see why people start to worry about native eucalypts in their backyards. If we can preserve the biodiversity on government land, we should be making every effort to do so.

In a subdivision not far from where I live, a person had a box tree about 150 years old. They got a bit nervous about falling branches and got stuck into it with a chainsaw and gave it a No 2 haircut, which virtually destroyed the tree as a future habitat for native species until it rots out again in another 100 years. A lot of the hollows in the tree were lost as a result of the trim that the tree had. It virtually destroyed it for the foreseeable future.

We all know about the pressure on native birds from some of the feral species in the ACT-Indian myna birds, starlings and so on. Wherever we can, we need to preserve the sorts of trees that will provide a habitat for native birds into the future. If they are on

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