Page 3817 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 19 September 2018

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Today she was given a chance to rectify that but she did not. She had the opportunity to stand up for the territory but she has failed. It is clear that the shadow minister is nothing more than a branch of the New South Wales Liberal Party, the party of Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott. The shadow environment minister is more interested in disparaging the strong actions being taken by this government than in standing up for the environment. It begs the question: is Ms Lee the shadow minister for the environment or the shadow minister against the environment? Given the actions of other Liberal ministers nationally, I think we know the answer.

Unlike the Liberals and others, Labor will continue to protect our environment and I thank Ms Cheyne for this important motion. I did want to talk about Ms Lee’s comments too in regard to rangers but I have run out of time. (Time expired.)

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (4.20), in reply: I would like to thank members for their comments today, particularly Ministers Rattenbury and Gentlemen whose comments were sensible and factual. I should not have to but I will also take some time to respond to Ms Lee’s comments.

Yes, this is a motion in the ACT speaking to the decisions of another parliament but the opposition really needs to stop obsessing about whether this is appropriate or not. It is just getting silly and is frankly embarrassing as an argument. If Ms Lee wants to talk facts, here is a fact: decisions of other governments do impact on us. We do have a responsibility to our people and to our environment for standing up when other governments make decisions that negatively impact on us. Whether it is marriage equality, territory rights or protecting the environment from feral animals, the opposition consistently has form in not standing up for this jurisdiction.

But today is particularly surprising. You might be forgiven for missing it, thanks to her confected outrage, but today the opposition has advocated for doing nothing about a very serious feral animal. The shadow environment minister, or, as Minister Gentlemen said, the shadow minister against the environment, has advocated doing nothing about a very serious feral animal.

I fundamentally reject Ms Lee’s assertion that this motion reflects on the National Parks and Wildlife Service in any way. As usual, Ms Lee has taken a very convenient approach in both ignoring the speech that I gave and being very selective in what she quoted from estimates. I remind her that the manager of ACT Parks and Conservation Service, Brett McNamara, said he was gutted and described the legislation as terrible.

This is not about the capability of our parks and conservation service, which does an excellent job; it is about the enormous pressure that is going to be put on them and it is about distracting them from their other efforts to control feral animals, which Ms Lee did rightly note by adding another which she advocated for. We are not talking about a handful of horses here; we are talking about hundreds. Horses breed. They double their numbers every few years. That is going to put enormous pressure on our government and other governments as well.

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