Page 2141 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 22 June 2005

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DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.48), in reply: I want to thank Mrs Dunne for her explanation of the government’s approach to this issue—that was very useful—and I also want to thank Mr Gentleman and Ms Gallagher for their support. It was particularly useful to hear from Ms Gallagher the ways in which the ACT government and the Conservation Council of the South East Region and Canberra have worked together. It is a very long list of ways in which this government recognises that the conservation council has been able to contribute to its own work on the environment.

In the ACT we have many volunteers in all the component groups of the conservation council whose work—caring for nature parks, for instance; noting changes in bird populations and restoring catchments—contributes to the policy positions put forward by the council. These groups do not have the expertise, or the time—because they are all volunteers—to do the policy work themselves. That is why they join the conservation council. They recognise that all their work—for instance, restoring woodlands—will be meaningless if larger trends, such as climate change and biodiversity loss on the catastrophic scale on which it has happened in Australia and is continuing to occur, are not checked.

These kinds of activities must happen at the national and, indeed, the global level. If we want to stop climate change, then we need the federal government to sign the Kyoto protocol; and if we want the Kyoto protocol strengthened so it really does help to check climate change, we need to be working at the global level. That is why it is necessary to talk about issues concerning the federal government in this Assembly.

The old saying of the 1970s, “Think globally, act locally” is just as true now as it ever was. We have to act locally and we also have to act nationally. The conservation council is an ACT and regional body. We have to stand up for it here, because its own voice will be quietened by the federal government’s funding decisions. Well, it probably will not be quietened because we can be fairly sure that the community will come out in support. Nonetheless, the funding decision is a sign of an attitude and an unwillingness to listen, and that is of as much concern as the decision to reduce this grant. I commend this motion to the assembly.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Dr Foskey. At this point I welcome students from Gordon Primary School, years 5 and 6. I am told there are 70 of them.

Motion agreed to.

Animal Legislation (Penalties) Amendment Bill 2005

Debate resumed from 16 February 2005, on motion by Mr Stefaniak:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Acting Attorney-General, Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (11.51): The government will not be supporting the Animal Legislation (Penalties) Amendment Bill 2005, which seeks to amend penalties determined under the Animal Welfare Act 1992 and the Animal Diseases Act 1993. This

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