Page 3685 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 27 October 2015

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wonderful to see so many families enjoy the live music and a range of guided activities, having barbecues and picnics, buying food at the food stalls and having wildlife talks amidst the beauty of the valley and the mountains.

Some great activities on the day were held in the sanctuary, so-called because it provides a sanctuary within predator-proof fencing for a range of native animals living in the natural wetlands ecosystem and surrounding bushland. At the ribbon garden theatre in the sanctuary visitors could join the Murumbung rangers for a cuppa and a chat around the camp fire, along with making amusing traditional Aboriginal tools.

There was also the opportunity for more active visitors to take a walk up to Gibraltar Rocks. The public were also invited to visit the nearby vet centre to learn about the vital work Tidbinbilla does with breeding some of our most endangered animals—breeding work that is aimed at boosting numbers of the bettong brush tail rock wallaby and corroboree frogs.

Aboriginal culture in the Canberra region was strongly in focus. The name Tidbinbilla comes from Jidbinbilla, referring to important ceremonies that took place there. Aboriginal people have travelled to or stayed in this region for over 20,000 years and it is the traditional country of the Ngunnawal people. Some of those activities that were held at the ribbon gum theatre that I have already talked about provided insight into Ngunnawal history and language, as well as the local plants and animals. Walks were held at the area showing how to use plants for medicine and bush tucker.

Tidbinbilla also has a wealth of knowledge about early European settlement in the area and a series of talks was held at the Rock Valley homestead on the subject. Tidbinbilla is a place that many families in the ACT return to time and time again and the extravaganza is a great introduction to families moving into our area and to tourists alike. In the reserve there are 22 marked walking trails ranging from a gentle 15 minutes to an all-day bush walk, and there are plenty of picnic and barbecue areas to relax with family and friends and to witness the native wildlife.

The staff at Tidbinbilla put a lot of hard work into delivering this event, and I thank them for their efforts. I also acknowledge the many others who have made it happen, including the SES volunteers, Conservation Volunteers Australia, along with all the performers, food merchants and others, without whom the Tidbinbilla extravaganza would not have been possible. I am sure that the ACT government will continue to support this spectacular event and the Tidbinbilla nature reserve more broadly as one of Canberra’s leading ecotourism destinations.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 6.33 pm.

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