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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5093 ..

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the government has actually effectively eliminated the development of a whole suburb of north Gungahlin to do exactly what Ms Tucker asserts we are not doing. The government has effectively removed a whole suburb from the development of north and east Gungahlin to protect the woodland that Ms Tucker raises as an issue of concern. So the government has taken steps to address these issues. Altogether, the government has announced that an additional 1,000 hectares of yellow box/red gum grassy woodland will be protected, including a very significant area in east Gungahlin.

It is well recognised that Forde and Bonner and the other suburbs of north Gungahlin have been on the Territory Plan for a considerable period of time as residential. The structure plan, the variation to which I tabled in the Assembly yesterday, deals with the finetuning of the boundaries for those residential developments, along with location of community facilities, arterial roads, public transport, corridors and so forth.

The government did look closely at the range of issues around Mulligans Flat and we are confident that the protections already in place are sufficient to protect Mulligans Flat. Indeed, we are adding to the areas of yellow box/red gum grassy woodland protected in north Gungahlin by including that very significant area in the Gooroo location just to the east of Mulligans Flat.

So, Mr Speaker, the government does take this issue seriously and it has taken this on board in the draft variation which was unanimously recommended for adoption by the planning committee in its report earlier this year.

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. If you were going to go ahead with these suburbs, why did you not at least heed the recommendation in the joint paper by the Conservation Council of the South-East Region and Canberra, ACT Environment and ACTPLA on management of cats in these suburbs to protect the nearby endangered species and integrity of the woodland ecosystem?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, as I understand it, that is not an issue for the territory plan to address. It is a management issue which will be addressed potentially in lease and development conditions for the individual blocks of land released in those suburbs. As Ms Tucker would be aware, that option is being considered further in relation to whether it is appropriate to have a requirement that residents in suburbs immediately adjacent to these nature reserves not keep domestic cats. It is not appropriate, as I am advised and as I can recall, to include that provision in the territory plan itself.


MR CORNWELL: My question without notice is directed to Mr Corbell in his capacity as minister for transport. The Auditor-General, in his Report No 10 of 2003 concerning financial audits for the year ending 30 June 2003, which I think was tabled yesterday, made the following finding:

ACTION's current assets, excluding cash intended to fund the acquisition of assets, are not sufficient to meet its current liabilities. ACTION will need to manage its expenditure carefully to meet these liabilities over the next 12 months.

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