Page 418 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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of native trees and shrubs in the burnt out sites. I have taken part in these plantings and further events are planned throughout the year. To augment the work undertaken to date, the Forest Road Research Group, UNSW ADFA, the ANU Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies and Greening Australia are undertaking a coordinated research effort in the lower Cotter catchment. That work is designed to gather further scientific data to assist the development of models for future land management decisions.

The approach taken in relation to replanting in the Cotter area is quite sophisticated and is consistent with the recommendations in the November 2003 Shaping Our Territory report. The approach also accords with the design principles developed by ACT Forests and a group of experts including Professor Peter Kanowski, Professor David Lindenmyer and Professor Bob Wasson, all from the ANU, as mentioned previously by the minister. Under this strategy, native vegetation is being planted in riparian zones and on steep slopes, and pines could be planted in appropriate areas. Key actions being implemented include management of land within the Cotter catchment with the primary objective of maximising water quality and, in particular, minimising turbidity.

As a first priority, revegetation of riparian zones with native species should occur. ACT government agencies should determine the appropriate width of riparian zones, which will vary with stream, landform and soil characteristics, to achieve water quality goals. Revegetation should be conducted in partnership with relevant community organisations, for example, Greening Australia, as appropriate. Government agencies should also attend to the rationalisation of the forest road network and upgrade the design and runoff aspects of remaining roads with the objective of preventing sediment flows into streams and the Cotter dam.

Suitable vegetation should be restored as soon as practicable across the balance of the catchment area. As I have indicated, our advisers have informed us that there is no proven model for rehabilitation from this natural disaster. We are beginning to implement strategies based on a range of expert advice. The next step is to monitor what we have done, receive feedback and adapt management to the new lessons learned. I assure the Assembly that the government is committed to the protection of our water supply and its quality at its source while at the same time recognising the multiple use by our community of some catchment areas.

MRS TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mrs Burke): The discussion is concluded.

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee

Scrutiny report 2

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) I present the following report:

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee (performing the duties of a Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation Committee)—Scrutiny Report 2, dated 14 February 2005, together with the relevant minutes of proceedings.

MR STEFANIAK: I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

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