Page 2405 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 June 2013

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kangaroos can have a significant impact on both temperate grasslands and the grassy woodlands. This is a management issue. We face the situation where those ecosystems to some extent are out of balance. The lack of natural predators means that kangaroo populations are now not constrained in a way they might historically have been.

Kangaroos can eat down to the ground layer of vegetation so that it is no longer able to provide food and shelter for small animals such as reptiles, insects, frogs and ground-feeding birds, and this can lead to a decline in the population of those species and localised extinctions. From that point of view, the government policy is then to undertake a conservation cull.

The way the numbers are determined—going to your question of where the advice came from—is that ecological staff in the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate undertake a survey of existing kangaroo populations. They then match that against the calculated quotas of the carrying capacity of the various sites. Allowing then for population growth and breeding patterns, a final number is determined. A number is then sent to Territory and Municipal Services, to the Parks and Conservation Service, who then operationalise that and make a plan based on the initial advice from ESDD. That is how the final number is reached.

I can inform the house that the cull will start shortly. The Canberra Nature Park has seven areas that will be closed each night from 5.30 pm until 6 am the following morning, and that will be from Friday, 7 June until Wednesday, 31 July. That is to ensure that the staff conducting this activity can do so with safety, both for their own safety and for the safety of the public. Notices will be put at the entrance of the Canberra Nature Park in the affected units, and that should ensure that this is undertaken in a safe and responsible way.

It being 3 pm, questions were interrupted pursuant to the order of the Assembly.

Appropriation Bill 2013-2014

[Cognate bill: Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2013-2014]

Debate resumed from 4 June 2013, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MADAM SPEAKER: I understand it is the wish of the Assembly to debate this bill cognately with executive business order of the day No 5, Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2013-14. That being the case, I remind members that in debating order of the day No 4, executive business, they may also address their remarks to executive business order of the day No 5.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3.00): Too often in contemporary politics, particularly for an opposition, the focus is on the negatives. It almost has to be and almost always is. Governments must be scrutinised, they must be accountable. That is the role of oppositions, and it is a role that is particularly necessary as governments become lazy, arrogant, aloof and accident prone.

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