Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3240 ..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
That was a daring policy decision. There were a lot of residents who were unhappy and uncertain about what it would mean. They were quite used to having the willows; they looked quite nice and they had their place. But taking out the willows has opened up Ginninderra Greek and made it a place which is accessible, cleaner and with a much higher environmental value than it had five years ago. Those are brave policy decisions that only came about because of the volunteerism of people of the ACT.
There are a few issues that need to be addressed about Landcare. As I have said, governments across this country do not have the money to spend on Landcare. It would not be happening if it were not for volunteers. But there are issues of the support of government: it has to be ongoing, and there has to be a very strong commitment. There has been strong commitment by successive ACT governments for Landcare, but there have also been ongoing problems in relation to insurance.
We must not let problems relating to insurance stop the vital and important work of land carers. As leaders of opinion in the community, we should be reinforcing and affirming the great work that they do and, as Mr Hargreaves said, trying to encourage the media to take an interest in what land carers do because what they do they do for all of us, not just today but for generations to come. Underpinning that need to be the policy grunt and the policy will to make the work that they do have longevity. I commend the motion to the house.
MS DUNDAS (11.42): I rise to add the support of the ACT Democrats to the winners of the ACT Landcare awards for 2003 and for the Landcare program in general. Landcare volunteers put in hard work to protect native vegetation and restore the environmental quality of degraded areas where governments cannot afford to take action because of the scale of the problem they are faced with. There are over 100 Landcare groups in the ACT and region, and thousands of volunteers spend their weekends doing on-the-ground work.
Today we are congratulating the Southern ACT Catchment Group, who won the Sensis Landcare catchment award for their work in the Tuggeranong-Tharwa and Weston-Woden subcatchment plans. Implementation of the plans has already begun, including community education work to help ACT residents see how activities anywhere in a catchment can affect water quality downstream. That is incredibly important in letting residents know the impact they are having on the environment around them and how important it is to monitor that impact and, hopefully, reduce it so that we can have quality of environment in the future.
We wish to extend our congratulations to the Farrer Ridge, Cooleman Ridge and Mount Taylor Parkcare groups on their award for their long-term efforts to eliminate weeds and restore native vegetation to local hills. We congratulate Lanyon High School on winning the Landcare education award. The school students and staff built a hothouse where seedlings are raised for revegetation work. I understand that this is a hothouse that Mr Wood is quite interested in. Raising the native seedlings has developed an understanding of the ecological processes that determine the success or failure of revegetation efforts.