Page 3289 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

MR WALL: I would much rather take a different view from that of Ms Orr by observing that recreational users of our national parks and ecosystems are amongst the best custodians and are often in the best place to ensure that any adverse impacts on the natural environment are firstly identified and secondly resolved.

There is the opportunity to take two different approaches to this. One approach, which we often see by environmental groups, is that the best thing we can do to preserve natural ecosystems and the natural environment is to put a fence around them, put a gate on them and lock them up forever. I much prefer the option that sees people being encouraged to go in in a respectful manner and actually identify, recognise, learn about and experience the things that are important to keep and to treasure.

Our national park rangers are at the forefront of the fight to retain our natural environment and keep it in the best condition possible. In relation to the role of our rangers, I was disappointed to see that this government announced in the budget an approach thinly cloaked as a cost-saving measure directly relating to rangers and the Googong foreshore. The 2017-18 budget papers referred to the closure of the southern gate, commonly known as the London Bridge end, in budget paper 3 on page 100. This measure purports to save an amount of $333,000. This budget mention was the first notice that any users of that area actually had, and at no point was there any consultation on this decision.

Let me go to other opportunities that I am fond of and believe that the government has missed and continues to ignore. One sits on the doorstep of my own electorate, the electorate that you share, Madam Speaker, Brindabella. Tourist drive 5, as it was commonly known, is the stretch of road that runs from Tharwa through to Corin and back into Stromlo. There is a significant opportunity to tie in a number of experiences that already exist along that route and create an absolutely wonderful tourism opportunity.

I note that a Cotter hub proposal has been put to the government as an unsolicited proposal which seeks to identify many of the opportunities that exist down there, in part revitalising the Cotter pub, a favourite of many Canberrans that was tragically lost in the 2003 fires. Along tourist drive 5 there is the rich historical village of Tharwa, with the artisans who operate there, historic homesteads and the like. A short drive from there you can head into Namadgi National Park, a gateway to some of the historical space tracking infrastructure that was used during the moon landing. Booroomba Rocks is a popular place for rock climbing and abseiling.

A little further up the road you can head to Corin, a great privately run tourism enterprise that I understand has had in excess of 60,000 people for snow play and skiing lessons this year. It is a phenomenal tourist attraction that could benefit from harnessing the common interests along that space. At the bottom of the hill you have the deep space tracking station that is still a critical part of NASA’s work which is featured here in the capital.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video