Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 December 2016) . . Page.. 73 ..
time is needed to evaluate the regeneration response of native vegetation in areas treated with the machinery I have described, but encouraging signs have already been recorded with bracken fern already coming through in large numbers.
Building on the learnings from the trial, I can report that the land manager has outlined a time line for the removal of all existing pine wildlings from the Blue Range area within the lower Cotter catchment—namely: in 2016-17 approximately 68.7 hectares of wildlings are planned for removal at an estimated cost of $442,000; in 2017-18 a further 87.1 hectares of wildlings will be removed at an estimated cost of $479,000: and in 2018-19 the remaining 70.5 hectares of wildlings will be removed at an estimated cost of $417,000.
I should add that all costs associated with these wildling removal works are budgeted as part of the reducing the ACT’s vulnerability to bushfire initiative appropriated in the 2015-16 ACT budget. Finally, the Assembly should note that wildling pines are likely to continue to appear in the Blue Range area after these removal works are completed. The land manager will monitor the scope of natural regeneration which should serve to out-compete emerging pine wildlings. Any pines that do appear will be managed as part of the yearly weed control program identified for the lower Cotter catchment, thus avoiding a return to the undesirable large-scale monoculture of pines that we have here today.
In closing, I thank the standing committee chaired by Ms Nicole Lawder and previously by Mr Brendan Smyth for their review and consideration of this important Auditor-General’s report. Much has been achieved in stabilising the lower Cotter catchment since the 2003 fires. In a productive thirteen-year partnership between government agencies and the community, the lower Cotter catchment is well on its way to recovery. In tabling this government’s response to the committee report, I stand confident that this government has a plan to ensure the lower Cotter catchment will be able to yield the quantity and quality of water Canberra needs.
Mr Gentleman presented the following papers:
Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Scheme—Update on the ACT Government response—Quarterly reports—
1 April to 30 June 2016.
1 July to 30 September 2016.
Planning and Development Act, pursuant to subsection 242(2)—Schedule of Leases Granted—1 JuneF to 30 September 2016.
Public Accounts—Standing Committee—Eighth Assembly—Report 33—Review of Selected Auditor-General’s Reports—Update on action under Recommendation 5.