Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 987
Civic Square ACT 2608
Phone: 02 62.. ....
Simon Corbell, MLA
Minister for the Environment and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
GPO Box 1020
Canberra, ACT 2601
Dear Minister Corbell
It is with considerable concern that Friends of Grasslands (FOG) has learnt that, as a result of changes to the structure of the ACT Government recommended in the Hawke Review, the use of one logo (the ACT government ‘crest’) by all sections of the public service is being introduced. However, we also understand that a case can be put up to retain a particular logo if the use of the logo meets certain criteria.
FOG has been in existence since 1993 and has enjoyed a strong and healthy relationship with staff from Parks, Conservation and Lands, both currently within TAMS and formerly within Urban Services. We commend the professionalism and dedication of the staff to achieve conservation outcomes in a difficult environment where conflicts between development of green fields and conservation of threatened species and communities are constant issues. Their important role in managing more than 50% of the land mass of the ACT cannot be overestimated. However, we have watched with dismay the gradual undermining of that role, particularly with the separation several years ago of those units within the government that have responsibility for implementing the Nature Conservation Act. We believe the loss of the logo will further undermine the cohesiveness of the service.
The Gang-gang logo has been worn and displayed with pride by the Parks Service staff for 30 years, since its introduction when the Parks and Conservation Service was established through legislation in the Nature Conservation Act in 1980. The Parks and Conservation Service is an integral component of that legislation, and the logo distinguishes the caretakers of our bushland heritage from other parts of the public service. The loss of the logo previously was averted after public and internal concern about the effectiveness of that singular symbol as it relates to the important role of the Service.
The Gang-gang is a bird with a strong association for many Canberrans, as their call identifies their arrival into our city in the colder months. We understand that to the indigenous people of the ACT the Gang-gang has strong spiritual importance.
On a more pragmatic, but important note, it is of concern that the Government would at this time of budget restraints consider implementing a policy of removal of logos which would cost thousands of dollars in replacement of signs in reserves, in uniforms, vehicles and stationery.
Parks services around Australia have distinguishable and widely recognised logos that helps in the recognition of officers on the ground and in locating their parks on the ground. We do not believe there is any case for the ACT Parks and Conservation Service to be an exception.
We urge you to allow the logo to be displayed with pride by all those staff who are responsible collectively for implementing the Nature Conservation Act, including the land managers of ACT’s bushland as well as the research, policy, operations and other support staff.
John Fitz Gerald
28 May 2011