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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1576 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Yes, there are certain issues around access and egress and there are certain issues around how to maintain the continuing health and life of the significant trees that are to be protected. I have every expectation that the development arrangements and plans in relation to those significant trees will ensure that they survive and survive healthily. I have no reason, in relation to all the advice that has been provided to me by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna, to doubt that that will be the case.

I know that the commissioner, Dr Baker, continues to have concerns, as do a significant number of residents, around the continued health of these trees. All the advice available to me from the Conservator of Flora and Fauna is that all steps that can be humanly taken are being and will be taken to preserve those trees in the context of the development that has been proposed and approved in relation to that site.

I know that these are issues that affect a lot of us, and quite rightly so. Trees are so significant to us and these are very significant trees. I might say by way of concluding that it was in the context of these sorts of issues that I was so pleased to release last week the lowland woodlands strategy in relation to the need for us to protect the yellow box/red gum grassy woodland ecosystem, which is iconic in the ACT. It is the woodland that is iconic, that is so significant in terms of what it is about Canberra that we love so much, and we accept our responsibility to protect in perpetuity that woodland ecosystem because of its fundamental importance for a whole range of reasons.

I hope that through that strategy we can agree, as a community, on the decisions that we need to take to balance our commitment to the environment as well our need to ensure some certainty in relation to all of the other land management decisions that any functioning community must take and make. These are fraught issues. I am hoping that, through some process or some agreement around the scientific validity of the lowland woodlands strategy, we can find a way forward without the continuing division that issues such as this create.

It being 3.00 pm, questions were interrupted pursuant to the order of the Assembly.

Appropriation Bill 2003-2004

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (3.00): I present Appropriation Bill 2003-2004, together with its explanatory statement and the following supplementary budget papers, in accordance with section 13 of the Financial Management Act 1996, and other associated budget papers:

Budget 2003-2004 -

Financial Management Act, pursuant to section 10 -

Budget Speech (Budget Paper No. 1)

Budget at a Glance (Budget Paper No. 2)

Budget Overview (Budget Paper No. 3)

Budget Estimates (Budget Paper No. 4)

Bushfire recovery-supplementary Paper

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