Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland) (19:46:39): Last week I had the great honour of meeting Carole‑Ann McGarry, who is a passionate volunteer with Hunter Wildlife Rescue and who brought a little friend to meet me.

Bella by name and bella by nature is a seven-month-old eastern grey joey who Carole-Ann has been showering with 24 hours a day love, care and attention since she was orphaned at the age of five months. I am lucky enough to have a mob of kangaroos that comes into our garden on a regular basis. They are part of an amazing community of macropods that include eastern grey kangaroos and red-necked wallabies who live in my neighbourhood.

Unfortunately, we have seen a recent increase in these beautiful native animals being hit by careless drivers, both on the highway and in our immediate estate. Carole-Ann made a number of suggestions to try to assist in the survival of these macropods. I will work with her, the State Government and the council to try to implement some of her suggestions. Carole-Ann also raised the plight of the grey-headed flying fox and the squirrel glider in my community. I will investigate options for them as well.

I congratulate Carole-Ann on her advocacy. We must all work together to protect our precious native animals.