Page 3724 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013
As members know, I am a strong supporter of the arts in all its forms and I have been involved in the Belconnen Arts Centre from its very beginning. I have continued to advance the need for stage 2 to be completed. That is why I am happy to see that funding for the arts centre has been appropriated and design stage commenced as promised during the last election.
Members will also know of my volunteer activity with Greening Australia and my local Parkcare group, the fotpin. I am pleased to see that the ACT government has continued to appropriate funds in the budget towards restoring the territory’s parks and reserves for their ecological values, as well as their health and social benefits.
In the first budget of this re-elected government $1.3 million was set aside to enhance the biodiversity of Canberra’s woodlands, parks and nature reserves. This initiative will allow staff to undertake a range of additional programs, including the restoration of parks and reserves, as well as conservation monitoring, with a focus on Canberra nature park and threatened grasslands. The funding will also provide for improved support for Parkcare groups such as the one I belong to. As you know, they play a valuable role in preserving and maintaining our nature parks.
As you all know—and I do go on about this a little bit—I hold regular mobile offices in my electorate. I find many people raise the issue of bike paths and footpaths. I am sure many people will be pleased to see that there has been increased funding to address these concerns. We have many more kilometres of footpaths and bike paths than any other jurisdiction and, of course, maintaining and growing this network is a continual task.
Before I conclude, I would also like to mention that on Monday, 21st a new enforceable code of practice for the sale of animals came into effect in the ACT. As you are aware, I have had a keen interest in animal welfare matters for a long time. I have, over the years, worked very closely with the TAMS Directorate through Domestic Animal Services, the RSPCA and, more recently, the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee as they consulted on this code which is now in effect. I commend all those who have been involved and thank them.
I would like to state that this government is getting on with the job, and I am very proud to be part of it.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Health and Minister for Higher Education) (3.49): The government will not be supporting the amendment. I do not imagine that will come as a huge surprise to members here. I will address my comments to both the motion and the amendment.
I am very pleased to stand here as Chief Minister on the first anniversary of the work that has been done since the 2012 election. I do not think, in response to some of the things Mr Hanson said, that reflecting on what we have done in terms of our commitments to the community is not good use of the Assembly’s time. In fact, what we are doing today is reporting to the community around the 70 per cent of election commitments that we have started to deliver on and also focus on the areas where we