Page 1634 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 May 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, this program has been running for some time. What sort of environmental outcomes have been achieved?

MR CORBELL: Thank you for the supplementary, Mr Gentleman. There have been a range of on-the-ground projects that have been implemented as a result of previous grants rounds. My focus as minister has been on making sure that these grants moneys go to practical, on-the-ground work that helps improve and enhance our natural environment.

The types of activities include nature conservation, weed and pest management, native vegetation management, health of our waterways, soil health, climate change adaptation and sequestration, rehabilitation and restoration of urban parks, and support for Indigenous people’s involvement in protecting and caring for our natural environment.

To give you some examples, Madam Speaker, the Friends of Aranda Bushlands have received in the past about $4,000 to assist them with erosion control in the Aranda snow gums reserve, a very beautiful part of the Aranda bushland just to the south of the suburb of Aranda. We have also seen grants to groups such as the National Parks Association of the ACT for their Gudgenby bush regeneration group. This is for the trial rehabilitation of selected areas of Namadgi national park, having regard to traditional land management practices. So it is a very valuable program there.

Greening Australia, of course—$38,000 to establish and maintain intensive seed production systems for grassy understorey plants. This is a great project. Greening Australia are going out and collecting seed to develop a seed bank of the existing endangered woodland and grassland communities around the ACT, propagating those grasses and plants, and then being able to replant them to revegetate particular areas. On the work of Greening Australia, I was very pleased to be out at the Cotter on the weekend to see them complete their very important restoration project out there. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary question.

MS PORTER: Minister, what further benefits to the environment are derived from partnerships with the community?

MR CORBELL: I think there are really valuable benefits to come from our engagement with these on-the-ground environment groups and nature conservation groups. I was mentioning in the conclusion to my previous answer the excellent work that Greening Australia have done in restoring the Cotter catchment. Over 500 hectares of land across the Cotter catchment has been rehabilitated since the 2003 fires, with, I think, over 70,000 hours of volunteer work in planting over 300,000 trees and grasses into the Cotter catchment to restore the Cotter catchment.

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