Page 5451 - Week 14 - Thursday, 30 November 2017

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Perhaps shyer than the rock wallaby is the spotted-tailed quoll. The quoll is also part of the reintroduction strategy taking place at Mulligans Flat. The species is primarily a carnivore that preys on medium-sized mammals including possums, gliders and rabbits. Other prey include small mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates. It is also known to prey on domestic poultry and to scavenge on carrion.

The echidna is one of only two monotremes, or mammals that lay eggs, making it a truly distinctive creature. The echidna is the oldest surviving mammal and one of the few native species whose population is not currently under threat. Their ability to survive in extreme temperatures and adapt to local conditions through the density of their fur is no doubt a reason for their longevity and stability.

Often not instantly thought of as a mammal, bats are extensive throughout the ACT, which is home to at least 18 species. Perhaps the most notable is the white-striped free-tailed bat. The white-striped free-tailed bat is the largest of all the free-tailed bats and is one of the few microbats with calls that can be heard by humans. They are known as free-tailed bats because part of their bony tail extends beyond their tail membrane.

The smoky mouse is listed as threatened in the ACT, although it has not been observed since 1987. The elusive mammal is about the size of a small rat and can survive in a wide range of vegetation, from coastal heath to dry ridge line forest, subalpine heath and fern gullies. It likes sheltering in ground cover such as dense, low vegetation and grass tussocks, rocks, logs and leaf litter. It eats legume seeds, berries, bogong moths when it can, and truffle-like fungi when it needs to. Many die in the spring, when food can be scarce.

These are just a few examples. I reiterate that this is by no means an exhaustive list of possible emblem-worthy mammals; rather, it is just a few examples to get the discussion started.

The committee looks forward to the Canberra community putting forward many more suggestions and the reasons for them. We anticipate that a large number of people in the Canberra community will have a view on this topic and we encourage everyone to submit to the inquiry. We have already had some school groups inquire with us about making a submission. We would be more than happy to accept submissions from school groups. The submission period is now open. We will close submissions on Friday, 23 March 2018. The committee will present its report to the Assembly by September 2018.

Executive members’ business—precedence

Ordered that executive members’ business be called on.

Drugs—pill testing

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.47): I move:

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