Page 3913 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 15 Sept 2009

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MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services): I am pleased to join with other members in acknowledging the work of Dr Robert Boden and to extend my sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues.

Robert Boden was one of Canberra’s truest friends. A legacy of work in arboriculture in Canberra spanning more than 50 years means that many aspects of his work have probably touched most people in the ACT. And not only in the ACT; Dr Boden’s expertise took him to the Northern Territory, India and Pakistan, and several roles at that national level, which will have impacted around Australia. But it is as a particular friend of Canberra that I would like to remember Dr Boden today.

One of his most direct involvements with trees in Canberra was through the ACT’s Flora and Fauna Committee. Dr Boden was one of the founding members of the committee, appointed as deputy chair in 1994, before becoming chair and staying on the committee for six years. During his time on the committee, it was responsible for either classifying as threatened or drawing up critical action plans to help protect a range of threatened vegetation and animals across Canberra. Examples such as the sub-alpine herbs, leek orchids and the golden sun moth are particularly relevant.

Dr Boden’s time on the committee was not his only contribution to the flora and fauna of the ACT. A quick internet search of his name will uncover a mountain of reports and submissions either created by Dr Boden or referencing his excellent work. Whether through his role as foundation director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, council member of the National Trust of Australia in the ACT or through his consultancy work and individual advocacy, many people have benefited from the expertise and passion of Dr Boden. And we will continue to benefit in many ways for many years to come.

In his later years, he was a driving force in the development of the Canberra International Arboretum and Gardens. His advice was pivotal to shaping the gardens, and his association with the project gave it weight and credence when many sought to knock it.

Canberra has been fortunate to have been home to some of this country’s finest arboriculturists, and without a doubt Robert Boden is among them. I had the privilege of knowing Robert Boden, particularly in my time as an opposition member in this place, and I always found him to be a gentle, intelligent and persuasive man. He was a man with a common decency, quiet and understated in his approach, but passionate about Canberra—Canberra as a garden city, Canberra as the bush capital.

His death is a loss to the territory, but his legacy will live on through the trees of this place that he loved so much. I again extend my deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Question resolved in the affirmative, members standing in their places.

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