Page 708 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 8 March 2005

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that—and there will be a media release out before too long by Mr Pratt—those charges have to go up.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: standing order 118 (b) does not allow debate. The minister must answer the question, not debate it. I wish you would bring it to his attention.

MR HARGREAVES: God help us all! And you represent the people of the ACT. Aren’t they sorry!

Mr Speaker, the pound is operated by a bunch of really dedicated people. I have to say, with respect to dogs that are deposited there: there are dogs rescued from the streets, they have tags—we hope they have microchips—and they are reunited with their owners. There are dogs that are picked up, roaming around, that do not have owners. They are looked upon as having potential owners. That is when we do the desexing and make them available. After a period of time, when they are not claimed, they are euthanased, regrettably.

The other thing, Mr Speaker, is that there are not thousands of dogs in our dog pound; it would be about 40 or so. I do not know where Mr Pratt is coming from in all this. All I can suggest to you is: no, Domestic Animal Services do not mirror the RSPCA; no, they don’t. I will make it my business to make sure that Domestic Animal Services actually provides an efficacious service in accordance with government policy.

I have, in fact, been out there only recently and had a look for myself, Mr Pratt. I invite you to go out there and join your friends.

ACT Forests—use of herbicides

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. Minister, ACT Forests has confirmed that it uses, in the lower Cotter catchment, herbicides that leave a chemical residue in the soil. Can you provide to the Assembly a list of all the herbicides used in the lower Cotter catchment since January 2003? Can you tell the Assembly what research, if any, was done by the department to discover how long the herbicides would be retained in the soil and how to stop affected soil washing into the water supply and down the Murrumbidgee River?

MR HARGREAVES: Yes, I can, but not right at the moment. I will take the question on notice. There is a fair amount of detail in the question. Mrs Dunne is asking for a list of all these dreadful chemicals that are going into our catchment area and are going to poison us all. My understanding is that the chemicals that have been used as herbicides have been cleared. They are not the chemicals Mrs Dunne would have everybody believe. She will quote, no doubt, a particular chemical that is in use in the United States, not the same one as in the ACT. She is looking for a specific list.

Mrs Dunne: I am asking you for a list.

MR HARGREAVES: She is looking for a specific list of chemicals that are used and she is looking for evidence. Mr Speaker, I will happily provide the answer to Mrs Dunne’s question on notice.

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