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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1932 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

enhanced through more efficient and effective nature conservation practices. The $1.5 million you referred to is to be directed into four areas in the main-that is, resources, more field staff out there in the parks, improved data management and information systems-

Mr Cornwell: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: is the member who asked the question allowed to then walk away without listening to the answer?

MR SPEAKER: I am not able to restrain members or tie them to their seats, Mr Cornwell. Although a lot of powers go with this position, that is not one of them.

MR WOOD: Strategic use of resources and supporting community partnerships. That $1.5 million will be most effectively used in a range of ways in various parts of Canberra, the nature reserves and Namadgi National Park, which everybody in this place greatly values. We are committed to ensuring that we have the resources, both human and technical, to conserve our natural heritage, that is, to make it sustainable.

The plan also recognises the important role the community has to play. We all greatly value those many bodies in our community which provide such good advice and, in many circumstances, get out there and do the very hard work required. The park care, the lake care, water care and water watch groups, and the like, do a terrific job. We have great natural resources and we are determined to look after them. The new program that I have announced today will do just that.

Economic white paper

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to Mr Quinlan as Treasurer. Can you explain to the Assembly what is being done about the economic white paper you have foreshadowed? Minister, isn't it a fact that it is being prepared by the Chief Minister's Department to the exclusion of Treasury, an odd move for an economic white paper?

MR QUINLAN: There is some very confidential information here. I have a ministry for economic development. The support for economic development resides in the Chief Minister's Department.

MR STEFANIAK: My supplementary question is: is it a fact, Treasurer, that one of Treasury's most senior and respected public servants, the Under Treasurer, has submitted his resignation because of unresolved conflict over Treasury's exclusion from the white paper process?

MR QUINLAN: Mr Stefaniak, you do not believe that. No, it is certainly not true. The current Under Treasurer will be returning to Victoria with his family to a most senior post within the Victorian administration. I have at least anecdotal evidence that the Victorian government has been headhunting the current Under Treasurer for a considerable time. While I have the chance, I have to record that I consider Mr Howard Ronaldson a public servant, an administrator, and an economic adviser of the highest order, and I am sure that the previous government would confirm that. He will be very, very difficult to replace, so the ACT's loss is Victoria's singular gain.

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