Ms NORI (Port Jackson-Minister for Small Business, Minister for Tourism, and Minister for Women) [2.32 p.m.]: It is my pleasure to advise the Parliament of some great news for the Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo. Five white rhinos are being airlifted from South Africa and will arrive in Adelaide tomorrow. They will spend two months in quarantine at the dedicated rhinoceros quarantine station at Monarto Zoo and after that they will be taken to Dubbo for acclimatisation. When their acclimatisation is completed the animals will go on display at the Western Plains Zoo, hopefully during this year's Christmas school holidays.
The rhinos will be vital to the expansion of the Western Plains Zoo's white rhinoceros breeding program. The zoo will soon be involved in the display and breeding of three of the five surviving rhinos species on earth: the white, black and greater one-horned rhinoceros. These displays and programs are being developed under the $35 million master plan redevelopment at Western Plains Zoo. The first of these animal display projects, the Rhino Range exhibit for the greater one-horned rhinoceros, is scheduled to open next year. These majestic rhinos will prove a powerful attraction to the visiting public, boosting tourism in the Central West.
The Western Plains Zoo attracts more than 280,000 visitors and it spends more than $5 million on wages and food. It also provides 120 regional jobs. New South Wales zoos are recognised as being among the world's best and are international tourism icons in their own right. The arrival of these five white rhinos will also provide a great opportunity for New South Wales' great open range zoo to make an important contribution to global efforts to save these animals. I look forward to advising the House of further developments regarding these animals-preferably the pitter-patter of little rhino feet.
Mr J. H. TURNER (Myall Lakes-Deputy Leader of the National Party) [2.35 p.m.]: I thank the Minister for Tourism for congratulating the Coalition parties on their foresight in creating Western Plains Zoo. That occurred under the Askin Government and Tom Lewis was the relevant Minister. We also thank the Minister for congratulating the former environment Minister, Tim Moore, who initiated attempts to preserve the white rhino. The Minister's announcement is a continuation of Coalition policy, which we thank her for endorsing fully. We note that the white rhino project is important not only for Australia but for the whole world. The Coalition's initiatives in this area are obviously paying great dividends.