Page 5118 - Week 13 - Thursday, 29 November 2018

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Environment and Transport and City Services—Standing Committee—Report 6—Inquiry into a Proposal for a Mammal Emblem for the ACT—Government response.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

I am pleased to provide the Assembly with the government response to the Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services inquiry into a proposal for a mammal emblem for the ACT. I welcome the standing committee’s report and thank them for their thorough consideration of this issue.

I am also pleased that the community had the opportunity to contribute to this discussion. Submissions to the standing committee were received from students, community groups, people with a passion for civic symbols and even Triple J, who brought the discussion to the federal stage with their submission for Peking Duk.

The committee recommended that the ACT Assembly adopt a mammal emblem for the territory. We are currently the only state or territory without a mammal emblem, as distinct from a bird emblem. The introduction of a mammal emblem will bring the ACT into line with other jurisdictions, so I am pleased that today the government has agreed to adopt a mammal emblem for the ACT.

Three thousand, five hundred and fourteen people had their say on what should be the mammal emblem for the territory. Whilst the result was close, there can be only one winner. Whilst the government notes the committee’s careful consideration of the need for two emblems, there is no other jurisdiction in Australia with more than one mammal emblem.

Mr Coe: You conformist! You traditionalist!

MR BARR: Therefore, at the risk of being a traditionalist, the government recommends that the Assembly vote in favour of adopting the southern brush-tailed rock-wallaby as the ACT’s mammal emblem. A faunal emblem already exists for the territory, the gang-gang cockatoo, meaning that there will be two animal emblems for the ACT with the introduction of a mammal emblem.

Emblems are just one way that we can bring further awareness to the conservation of vulnerable and endangered species. I am pleased that through this process there has been discussion about the conservation of both the southern brush-tailed rock-wallaby and the narrow runner-up in the public vote, the eastern bettong. I look forward to seeing the southern brush-tailed rock-wallaby in use across the city as our new mammal emblem.

The introduction of a new mammal emblem presents the opportunity for the government to look at the other symbols in our city and whether they still meet the current expectations of our community. To that end, I thank the community members who provided a submission to the standing committee raising their concerns about the existing city coat of arms and the territory flag.

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