Page 612 - Week 02 - Thursday, 16 February 2017

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MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for her supplementary. As I just mentioned, the contribution by volunteers and community conservation groups is invaluable to the continued nature conservation work in the ACT and the region. As with the Barrer Hill project, community support from volunteers can make a real difference in protecting the environment. Volunteering for the environment is not only a great way to make a difference but also a great way to learn about the region, get outdoors, stay fit and meet new people.

There are several well-established volunteer groups that assist the ACT government in conservation projects. They include, of course, the Ginninderra, Molonglo and southern ACT catchment groups, Greening Australia and Parkcare. We need assistance to conserve and protect our natural environment, build knowledge of our region’s plants and animals and support and encourage more sustainable behaviour in our communities. Some of the more common activities that community groups help with are planting trees, shrubs and grasses, identifying and recording wildlife such as frogs and platypus, monitoring water quality in our streams, removing woody weeds and collecting seeds.

A final example is the important restoration work at the lower Cotter catchment, which has been well supported by the community and volunteers, coordinated by Greening Australia. They have planted over 300,000 seedlings over 2,000 hectares. So I want to thank the community for their ongoing contribution.

Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders—Boomanulla Oval

MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. Minister, the Boomanulla Oval was closed in November of 2014, with the corporation going into liquidation. It has been a sporting and cultural centre for Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community for the past 30 years, and is much missed as a venue for their events. Minister, what progress has been made to restore Boomanulla Oval?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: This matter does not sit directly within my portfolio. I did receive an update a while ago, but I do not have the information with me so I will have to take that question on notice.

MR MILLIGAN: Minister, previously the Boomanulla Oval was managed by Winnunga. Since then the Boomanulla Oval has been closed for the past couple of years. There was an expression of interest that was put out to take over the Boomanulla Oval again.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Milligan, that is a preamble. Please go to your supplementary question.

MR MILLIGAN: Minister, why has a process not been developed in the past couple of years to restore Boomanulla Oval?

MADAM SPEAKER: The Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.

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