Page 834 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 March 2005

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traditional arts such as constructing furniture in a way that rarely happens these days, I thought was very enlightening. To see this within a very short distance of the Assembly was a tremendous experience, and I commend both the teaching staff and the university for the level of those facilities.

These three insights into some of the arts facilities we have in Canberra underline the widespread support from and the tremendous application of those involved in the arts in Canberra, and it is certainly an aspect of my work that I find particularly rewarding.

Namadgi National Park

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.09): I am rising to report on a visit I made last weekend to Namadgi National Park and to commend the managers of Namadgi. The nicest thing about being an elected representative in the ACT Assembly is that I no longer go anywhere in the ACT without that in my mind. So here I have a number of observations that I am sure that other members will be vitally interested in, because they concern a part of our beloved territory.

First of all, I want to commend the managers for their new interpretation materials. In particular, I want to mention the new map that has been produced, which details a large number of walks. It gives the information that anybody needs before undertaking one: how long it will take, how many kilometres are involved, whether it is steep and whether a car needs to be posted somewhere down the track for people to get to.

I most particularly want to mention the new lookout. Apparently, the old one was burnt in the fires. The new lookout is—I believe, because I do not think I ever explored the old one—far superior, being broad, going out over the valley so that you have this sense of actually looking out. It is positioned so that you can see the whole line of the Brindabellas. Each of the mountains is named and there is a very wide-angled lens photograph that you can look at and identify exactly the features that you are looking at. I think that is really important; people need to be able to place themselves in their environment. Apparently, that too is far superior to the old interpretative device.

Namadji is a reminder that we live in a wonderful environment. I have a deep affection for that line of mountains, the Brindabellas, and in Namadji, of course, apart from natural heritage, one also finds plenty of evidence of our long-lived indigenous heritage. On our way to Namadji, we drove across the broad valley which, along with the road that we drove across it on, will be drowned if the Tennent dam is built on the lovely Gudgenby River. I must say this is a particularly beautiful valley. It is very broad and I guess that is partly what makes it so beautiful and also makes it so unsuitable for a dam, because it will take a very long time to get the kind of depth where evaporation does not take the water as fast as it fills.

Talking of catchment issues, the regeneration of Namadji provides a model for catchment management. Indeed, due to the quick thinking of some firefighters, in Namadji there is a reference area of five per cent which did not burn provides a kind of model of what all of our catchment could be like if we decided to look after it as catchment.

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