Page 3157 - Week 07 - Thursday, 30 June 2011

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of the small clubs are vulnerable in that they lack resources, and I think we need to have considerable care as some of our valuable small businesses, as they are in our community, are at risk of being inundated by this constantly changing realm of legislation.

I also note the ICRC’s report into the ACT’s racing industry and I do look forward to considering the proposal put forward by the government when they do respond. There is merit in some changes to the structure of the local industry but at the same time they need to be changes going forward. There is a lot of potential here. There is the potential to be the largest non-metropolitan racing industry in the country. It has got a lot going for it and we need to look at ways to capitalise on it to benefit the industry and benefit the community at large.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.18 ACT Public Cemeteries Authority—$727,000 (capital injection), totalling $727,000.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (1.32 am): I am very pleased to see that the ACT government is considering natural burials as an option at the proposed southern cemetery in Tuggeranong. And part of the proposed area has been identified as a wildlife corridor. A natural burial site would therefore be an ideal choice for this setting. It would work to preserve and enhance the natural values of the area. A natural burial area is not currently available in the ACT. So I am very pleased to see that it will be at least a small part of the new cemetery.

I have been a strong advocate for natural burials because they represent a natural and significantly more environmentally friendly alternative to cremation or traditional burial practices. And one of the things I am concerned about with the push to build a new crematorium in Tuggeranong is that part of the motivation for this is financial, because I understand that the cemeteries trust presently has a significant unfunded perpetual care liability. That seems like it could be the major motivation.

As I understand it, though, in fact in south Canberra and Tuggeranong in particular, the major need is for a large-capacity chapel or ceremonial space. And this could be provided at the southern cemetery, with the deceased then being transported to the existing Mitchell facility after the ceremony was completed if cremation was required. My understanding is that there is adequate space and time in Mitchell for cremations.

Therefore, I would like the government to seriously look at the need or otherwise for a crematorium in Tuggeranong. And in considering this, I would like to see the government look at the environmental cost of cremation as well as the environmental positives of natural burials.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (1.35 am): I do not want to say anything other than to put on the record my thanks to Hamish Horne and the team that he leads at the Canberra cemeteries authority. I think he did a great job last year and I wish him and the staff all the best for the coming year.

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