26 September 2023

PS from the PaSt: 30 January – 5 February 2013

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1. This week 10 years ago, the National Arboretum in Canberra was officially opened under a partnership between the Commonwealth and ACT governments.

Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Simon Crean said the Arboretum marked the realisation of a concept first envisioned in Walter and Marion Griffin’s plan for Canberra.

“The fires of 2001 and 2003, which impacted the pine plantation which formerly occupied the site, presented the opportunity to progress this vision,” Mr Crean said.

“No attraction in the ACT complements the notion of the ‘bush capital’ and garden city better than the Arboretum.”

2. Sydney’s Centennial Parklands were recognised as one of the world’s leading public parks with an international Green Flag Award.

Chief Executive of the Green Flag accreditation agency Parks Forum, David Clarke said Centennial Parklands should consider itself alongside some of the world’s highest-quality parks.

“Our parks provide a window to the natural environment, and in a highly urbanised society this is more important than ever,” Mr Clarke said.

“We know that healthy, well-managed parks mean healthier communities and the Green Flag Award shows us which parks are setting the standard.”

3. Operations began for Australia’s first national, independent regulator for vehicles over 4.5 tonnes, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), as well as the new National Rail Safety Regulator, which were designed to reduce duplication and rule-book inconsistencies across State and Territory borders.

Chief Executive Officer of the NHVR, Richard Hancock said heavy vehicle owners and operators would deal directly with the Regulator rather than their individual State or Territory road transport departments.

Mr Hancock said the NHVR was set up to make it easier to deliver safer, more efficient operations for the heavy vehicle industry.

4. Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Dr Russell Reichelt said the distinguished 40-year science career of the late Dr Patricia Mather had been formally recognised with a previously unnamed reef in the Tee Line Reefs (Reef No. 21-148) now bearing the name Patricia Mather Reef.

Dr Reichelt said the reef named in Dr Mather’s honour resembled the classic round shape of a cunjevoi or “sea squirt”.

“Patricia’s research into this diverse group of animals led to the naming of 500 new species, which was an enormous contribution to science,” Dr Reichelt said.

“She was passionate about the marine environment and assisted in drafting a Bill that contributed to establishing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.”

5. WA Premier, Colin Barnett announced the creation of a new position of Commissioner for Victims of Crime as part of an expansion of services to victims of crime.

Mr Barnett said the commissioner would champion the interests of victims across Government and ensure they received the support, recognition and help they needed in dealing with the criminal justice system, with additional funding to benefit family and domestic violence victims and child witnesses and victims.

“Victims of crime have told the State Government that they want improved support services and we have listened by providing them with more help in navigating the court system, as well as greater assistance in seeking compensation,” Mr Barnett said.

6. Also in Western Australia a decade ago, Minister for Environment, Bill Marmion announced the creation of the Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park, which would include part of the internationally recognised Eighty Mile Beach Ramsar Site — listed as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Mr Marmion said new Class A marine and national parks encompassing the world-renowned Horizontal Falls in the Kimberley would also be established.

“About a quarter of the Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park’s key habitats will be protected in sanctuary zones, while a further four per cent will be in recreational or special purpose zones where some activities will be restricted,” Mr Marmion said.”

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