Page 3290 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 23 August 2017

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There is the Tidbinbilla nature reserve, a reserve that we as the ACT government are responsible for. If anyone has been out there recently, they will know that the work that the rangers do out there is phenomenal. But on the stage of world-class tourism destinations, it could really do with a bit of love. Tidbinbilla nature reserve is often overlooked as a tourism opportunity, but how many places are there in the world where you can be within an hour’s drive of an international airport, head down to a nature reserve and see a number of the most obscure and delightful creatures that exist in Australia? There are kangaroos, koalas and platypus all available on our doorstep at the Tidbinbilla nature reserve. It continues to be a completely undervalued asset that the territory holds.

As I mentioned before, there is the Cotter hub proposal to try to reinvigorate activity down at the Cotter precinct. And there is the work that is being done back at Stromlo. That concludes what tourist drive 5 was and most definitely should be again with just a bit of incentive from the government. A bit of marketing and collaboration would see a huge tourism opportunity, particularly ecotourism, for people to get out and experience the great outdoors and many of the wonders we have here on our doorstep in the territory.

I commend Ms Orr for bringing this motion to the Assembly and will very keenly watch to see what work the government does in improving tourism more broadly and particularly ecotourism in the territory going forward, bearing in mind that there are rich, fertile opportunities at our disposal in the territory to really grow our tourism industry and make it world leading.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (6.05), in reply: In closing, I would like to thank members for what have been generally overall positive comments. I would like to address the comments on item 1(c), because I feel that the members opposite have taken an interesting interpretation of that particular point and in doing so misconstrued my words. I certainly do not think that all interaction with nature is a bad thing and I do not think all human interaction with nature has a negative impact. My words have been taken out of context because I was talking very much about farming or land clearing, larger impacts than simply going out into nature and taking your rubbish with you when you leave.

Within the context of farming and land clearing, we know that a big impact has been had. There is the experience of Mulligans Flat. We have all just stood here and said that is a great example of how we rehabilitate land and what we would like to see more of in the future. Apart from that one little point, I welcome all the other comments. I encourage everyone to continue to support this as we move forward, because we seem to be on quite a similar page.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

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