Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3245 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
You can see that it is a broad-reaching thing for three groups to pick up such an award. The three groups have done a fabulous job over the years. I can assure you that planting trees on the side of Mount Taylor has its own special dilemma because you have got to carry all the stuff up there. For those of us who have climbed Mount Taylor for many years, that brings back some fond memories. Pushing up a wheelbarrow, carrying a sack of fertiliser, dragging up water or taking up seedlings has its own special cheer on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Well done to all the groups involved.
The issue of ongoing funding for Landcare has been raised. The community has been emboldened to get out there and do its bit. One practical thing that the community gets out of this is that it can see the results in its own neighbourhood. I agree with others that we have to make sure that funding is secured for these programs, but it is ownership by the community that has effect.
I am not sure how much effect politicians in houses of assembly or parliament saying, "Isn't Landcare a good thing?"has on the ground or the individual. I would hope it has some. The effect of individuals being able to see what they have done and the results of what they have done are far more unifying in the community. So issues have to be addressed at the ACT government and certainly at the federal level.
I hope that all those who have some influence over the future of Landcare, particularly its funding, take it seriously and look at the effect that it has had and the effect that it might have on the future because there is still work to be done. There are people out there who are willing to do that work and, if we give them the tools, they will change the environment that we live in so much for the better. Well done to all who won and well done to all those who support them.
MR HARGREAVES (12.00), in reply: I thank members for their support, and I do not apologise to the Canberra Times at all. You will not find that happen in a million months of Sundays.
Mr Pratt: Yeah!
MR HARGREAVES: As long as my backside points to the ground, Mr Pratt, you will not see it happen. One little robin does not a spring make. I congratulate her for popping up one article in the paper, but I condemn the Canberra Times for not giving due recognition when the awards were given out. Having one group out of the dozen awardees is giving some prominence. It is great for that group, but it is not great for the whole system. I do not applaud the Canberra Times for picking out just one and running with that. I think they should have received more prominence.
As the Leader of the Opposition says, Landcare is a serious issue. It is doing something today to repair something in the past and looking towards a bright future. I think we ought to sometimes stop and think, "Everybody else seems to be doing it; why can't we?"I commend the motion to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.