Page 1313 - Week 04 - Thursday, 10 April 2008

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MR SPEAKER: Is there a supplementary question?

MRS BURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank the minister for the answer. Given that she is aware of the case, could the minister please explain to the Assembly exactly what complaints process this woman should follow?

MS GALLAGHER: As I said, there are a number of complaints processes that can be followed. People can choose all three or they can choose one. We do not tell people what they can or cannot do. Normally, the brochure that is given in the hospital around complaints processes is about a management within the hospital, with a contact for the Health Complaints Commissioner. If people come to me, and they do from time to time—as people do when they are commending the performance of the hospital as well, and commending the treatment at the hospital; those come to me as well—then I respond directly. So there is no right or wrong way to complain. People have a variety of avenues available to them, and people can choose which one they choose to take. In this case I understand a number of approaches have been made. In terms of whether the hospital or I respond, I am asking that I get that information and respond to her directly.

Tidbinbilla nature reserve

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change. Minister, what is the government doing to encourage the use of Tidbinbilla nature reserve?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Porter for the question. I am very pleased to be able to inform the Assembly that tomorrow I will be opening the sanctuary, the restored wildlife area within Tidbinbilla. As members are very aware, Tidbinbilla valley and nature reserve is a very significant site within the ACT, a site that has experienced more than 20,000 years of Indigenous and European heritage. It is a nature reserve that has a very significant place in the hearts of almost all Canberrans and many visitors to the ACT.

We are committed to protecting that cultural heritage while, of course, continuing to seek to conserve the biodiversity and to provide a wide range of recreational opportunities for the people of the ACT and the region. We have been working consistently since the 2003 bushfires to reinstate the infrastructure, the facilities and the opportunities that previously existed in Tidbinbilla.

The new sanctuary, which I will focus on briefly today, has been restored or rebuilt at a cost of somewhere in the order of $7 million. It now includes a completely new set of redesigned, reconstructed and constituted dams or water systems. A two-kilometre system of paths has been prepared that is accessible for prams, the elderly and the disabled. The paths wind their way through newly constructed wetlands and link a series of features that I think all visitors will truly enjoy.

The sanctuary is surrounded by a two-metre-high predator-proof fence, designed to keep feral animals out and to allow the native animals that live there to live safely in

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