Page 494 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 19 February 2020

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MISS C BURCH: Chief Minister, what information does the line area provide to treasury in order to make that assessment?

MR BARR: They would provide an estimation of the total number of, in this instance, vehicles that would be registered and the various discounts that apply, and that would then inform the total level of revenue collected. There are, of course, provisions in place for a number of these fees and charges to be indexed, in line either with the consumer price index or the wage price index. The government, through various previous budgets, has also—in the context of registrations—provided some further, additional concessions or expanded the scope of concessions. In relation to drivers licences, which have been the subject of previous questions, the government has also provided incentives for safe drivers.

Bushfires—wildlife protection

MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Minister for Environment and Heritage. Minister, what steps did the government take to protect animals prior to the bushfires?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question and her interest in the environment across Canberra. The ACT government has been proactive in protecting native animals during the current bushfire season.

Our parks and conservation team have been relocating several threatened species to safe locations away from the Orroral Valley fire. Twenty-six endangered eastern bettongs, part of the Tidbinbilla threatened species recovery program, were evacuated by ADF aircraft to secure facilities at Mt Rothwell in Victoria. Two critically endangered southern brush-tailed rock wallabies and two yellow-footed rock wallabies, which require ongoing care, were transferred to Taronga Zoo. More brush-tailed rock wallabies were also relocated from Tidbinbilla to Mt Rothwell by ADF aircraft. A small population of critically breeding northern corroboree frogs and Tidbinbilla’s captive koalas were transferred to purpose-built facilities at the Australian National University. This follows the successful relocation of seven platypus from the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to Taronga Zoo at the end of December.

In addition to relocation efforts, bushfire preparations were undertaken to make the area safer for remaining animals. This included fuel reduction burns, installation of containment lines, removal of vegetation around key enclosures, and the installation of sprinkler systems in the holding areas. This work would not have been possible without the support of our partners, including the Australian National University, the Australian Defence Force, Mt Rothwell, Zoos Victoria, Taronga Zoo, Icon Water, our catchment groups, ParkCare and Landcare.

I extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped to successfully relocate our threatened animals. I look forward to their safe return to our nature reserve.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, what update can you provide about the impact of bushfire on the ecology and heritage?

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