Page 495 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 19 February 2020

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MR GENTLEMAN: The Orroral Valley bushfire spanned over 80,000 hectares and saw the ACT enter a state of emergency, becoming the territory’s worst-ever environmental disaster.

While Canberra has been saved, and we have not lost a house, property or life in the ACT, the impact to Namadgi—an area that all of us love—has been significant. While the efforts of parks and conservation and the Emergency Services Agency have ensured that many of our key environmental and heritage assets have been saved, 80 per cent of Namadgi National Park has been affected by the fire.

I am pleased to report that the ACT government’s recovery and resilience efforts are well underway, with the rapid risk assessment team of specialists assessing how the fire has impacted threatened species, habitat and water quality, as well as threats from debris flow as a result of rain. I will continue to update the Assembly as this important work progresses.

MS CODY: Minister, what investments has the government made to support environment groups?

MR GENTLEMAN: This is an important question. The government is committed to supporting our local environmental groups, including those who will play a key role in bushfire recovery. Last week, I was pleased to announce a significant increase of funding for the ranger assist program, as part of the mid-year budget boost, of more than $7.8 million of investments across environment and planning.

The ranger assist program supports volunteers to work directly on important environmental conservation in our region with parks and conservation staff, including bushfire recovery. This additional mid-year funding will also ensure the continuation of ACT Waterwatch, which brings the Canberra community together to help to monitor and care for our sensitive catchment areas. I am pleased to supply this additional support to these programs and would like to thank all Canberrans who are involved in this important work.

Motor vehicles—registration

MR WALL: My question is to Minister for Business and Regulatory Services. When a Canberran buys a car privately interstate it is a requirement to transfer the rego into the ACT within a month. In order to register the vehicle in the ACT, two inspections are required. One is a vehicle identification check, and the second a roadworthiness inspection. The wait time for the vehicle identification inspection is currently beyond one month. What is it that your government expects Canberrans to do who are unable to register their vehicle within the 30 days?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Wall for the question. Making sure that those checks are done is something that we class as a priority for road safety across Canberra and to make sure that people have confidence. I will take on notice the details of the wait time, how that is being dealt with at the moment so that we can continue to provide the best quality services for the people of Canberra.

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