The results of the Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services “ACT Mammal Emblem Survey” were announced today in the ACT Legislative Assembly.
3,514 people in the ACT participated in the online survey, and the results were remarkably close. The Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby won by a margin of just 40 votes.
The survey results are contained in a report by the Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services, which was tabled today in the Legislative Assembly by the Chair, Suzanne Orr MLA.
After considering the submissions, the information provided by wildlife and conservation experts, and the results of the online survey, the Committee makes 3 recommendations in its report.
First, that the ACT Legislative Assembly adopt a mammal emblem for the Australian Capital Territory.
Second, that given the extremely close result of the public survey, the ACT Legislative Assembly consider the possibility of granting mammal emblem status jointly to the Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby and the Eastern Bettong. If two mammal emblems are not considered an appropriate option, the Committee recommends the ACT Legislative Assembly consider adopting the Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby as the mammal emblem for the ACT.
The Committee ultimately chose the Rock-wallaby for three reasons: it received slightly greater support in the online survey; it arguably has greater potential to benefit from the increased publicity that would come with being the territory emblem; and because the species is endangered, while the Eastern Bettong has an established population in Tasmania.
Third, the Committee notes the potential for the adoption of a mammal emblem to lead to the design of a Coat of Arms for the ACT, and the possible redesign of the ACT flag.
‘We learned during this inquiry that there is great affection in the ACT community for both the Bettong and the Rock-wallaby’, Ms Orr said. ‘Given the incredibly close results of the poll, the Committee invites the Assembly to consider the possibility of awarding mammal emblem status to both animals.’
The report is published on the Committee website at https://www.parliament.act.gov.au/in-committees/standing-committees-current-assembly/standing-committee-on-environment-and-transport-and-city-services/inquiry-for-a-mammal-emblem-for-the-act
31 July 2018
Committee Chair, Ms Suzanne Orr MLA, on (02) 6205 1439
Committee Secretary, Brianna McGill, on (02) 6205 0124 or at LACommitteeETCS@parliament.act.gov.au