ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Katy Gallagher, today joined the Honourable Gordon Darcy Lilo, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, in planting a River she oak at the National Arboretum in Canberra.
The River she oak (Casuarina cunninghamiana) is a relatively slow growing species, however, once mature, it can reach 35 metres in height with a well-developed trunk, up to 1.5 metres in diameter. The River she oak's versatility also makes it perfect for inclusion at the National Arboretum, as it can survive drought conditions and heavy rains.
"The Prime Minister and his wife, Madam Bronwyn Lilo, are visiting Australia to continue to strengthen the partnership between our two countries and, in particular, to reinforce the commitment our countries have made to support advancements in the security and prosperity of the Solomon Islands," the Chief Minister said.
"The characteristics of the River she oak are symbolic of the deep and longstanding relationship Australia has with the Solomon Islands and its planting in the National Arboretum will celebrate this link.
"While this local species can be found across much of eastern Australia, the Casuarina genus is also found in the Solomon Islands," the Chief Minister said.
Work is progressing on the construction of the Arboretum in time for the official opening in February 2013.
"It is pleasing to see the Arboretum's progress and the interest it is generating in the community, with construction well underway on the Visitors' Centre and approximately 37,000 trees planted so far," the Chief Minister concluded.
- Statement ends -
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