Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3243 ..
MRS BURKE (continuing):
Mr Hargreaves' motion today. Without a doubt, these workers provide an excellent service to the community, which we have all had opportunity to enjoy.
Mr Speaker, it is one of those things that are quintessentially Canberra. We certainly saw after the fires great demonstrations of effort made right across the community, not least by Landcare volunteers, and I hope that that spirit remains. After the fires, there were many opportunities to come together as a community, and I take every opportunity, in my shadow portfolio responsibility of community care, to speak about seeing things like this bring people more together.
I certainly do not stand here as an authority on the environment but, the "Der!"factor aside, I know that we have much to be grateful for in the work of Landcare and the many volunteers who are involved in activities such as noxious weed removal and tree planting. Again, I am sure that many of us have seen evidence of this across this city.
The recipients of these awards deserve to be highly encouraged by the recognition of their endeavours. As they continue their efforts to tend the land, it is important that governments at every level support and underpin the work of Landcare. The ACT government must look to how it can independently support the work of about 100 groups-I may stand corrected there-in the ACT.
It is important that the Commonwealth government revisit the issue. We are all aware of salinity issues and the various things that some of us know something about, but I would call on this ACT government to look at independent ways of supporting this activity, which is vital for our future, our ecology and our environment. It is also important that we in this place continue to recognise the achievements, and it is with great pleasure that I stand and support Mr Hargreaves' motion.
MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (11:53): Landcare is a very important issue, and it is good to see those involved in helping rehabilitate the environment of the ACT get recognition. It is important to understand the sort of work that people do to pick up these awards. Rosemary Blemings, whom Mr Hargreaves mentioned, was named as the 2003 winner of the individual Landcare award for the ACT. I have been sent a summary of all the awards from Steve Welch, in Environment ACT, I suspect. The citation for Rosemary is just fantastic. It reads:
Rosemary Blemings was named as the 2003 winner of the Individual Landcare Award. Rosemary was a member of the North Belconnen Landcare Group and has carried out a continuous program of revegetation of Mt Rogers for some years now. As well as this local commitment, Rosemary is a long time member of the Australian Native Plant Society and has been a driving force behind the Weedbuster display at Floriade and the Weedswap program where people can exchange woody weeds for native plants at the green recycling centre. Like all Landcare Heroes, Rosemary's effort is varied from running and organising meetings, writing letters and articles, telephoning and persuading, networking, research, on-ground work and bird recording, emailing, lobbying, supporting others in their projects, and monitoring tasks. Rosemary regards most of this as a pleasurable activity although at times she questions her sanity. Congratulations Rosemary-a well deserved recognition.