ACT Mammal Emblem inquiry now taking submissions

Suzanne Orr MLA 20 February 2018 24

The Echidna; a possible candidate for the ACT mammal emblem.

The adoption of a mammal emblem is more than just the chance to talk about a cute critter. Having a mammal species recognised as an emblem elevates the public profile of that species and draws attention to the mammal, its habitat and habits. If the ACT decides to adopt one, we need to pick it carefully.

The Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services has been tasked with inquiring into whether the ACT should have a mammal emblem, and if so, which animal it should be.

The Committee is interested to find if any candidates for the mammal emblem hold historic or cultural relevance to Canberra, have strong symbolic value, or are ‘at the top of their field’ for one reason or another. Conservation and biodiversity will be considered too, potentially following Western Australia and Tasmania’s faunal emblem selection, which projected state-wide attention to endangered species.

The Committee is currently taking submissions from Canberra residents and interested organisations. After conducting public hearings and deliberating on the evidence before it, the Committee will present its recommendation to the Assembly.

A similar inquiry was held by the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Tourism in 1996. The inquiry led to the determination of our bird emblem, the Gang Gang Cockatoo. The inquiry found that the birds are easily recognised – having a distinctive call and physic – and are resident across rural and urban areas all year. Canberrans were said to have a special affinity to the Gang Gang Cockatoo, which is endemic to the ACT. The Committee also dictated that the emblem should be native to the Territory, should not be in use by another State or Territory, and that the ACT community should be involved in the selection process.

The Committee isn’t the first organisation to invite feedback on options for an ACT mammal emblem. The Canberra Times held a poll in November 2017 which received 2804 votes. The bettong and echidna were both front-runners, but there are many other mammals that could be in the running. If you would like to see all the options for mammals known to be living in the ACT, take a look at the Atlas of Living Australia, and while you’re there you can explore all the flora and fauna the ACT has to offer too.

If you think we should have a mammal emblem, if you have an idea of what that should be, or even if you think the ACT is well served by our current emblems and feel another is redundant, the Committee would like to hear from you. For more information on the inquiry visit the Committee website and make sure you have your say by emailing your submission to the Environment and Transport and City Services Committee, on

Suzanne Orr MLA is the Chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services.

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24 Responses to ACT Mammal Emblem inquiry now taking submissions
Caroline Reid Caroline Reid 6:18 pm 22 Feb 18

Definitely the echidna

Garnet Ross Garnet Ross 3:26 pm 22 Feb 18

You got that right Guy Ellis but could also be called pubic surpents.

Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy 3:21 pm 22 Feb 18

What's wrong with our swans?

Guy Ellis Guy Ellis 2:59 pm 22 Feb 18

Echidna because the ACT is full of pricks.

Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 3:27 am 22 Feb 18


Yuri Shukost Yuri Shukost 2:57 am 22 Feb 18

A bloke in lycra on a bike. Oops, sorry, I'm thinking of a MAMIL.

Michael Whitehead Michael Whitehead 10:03 pm 21 Feb 18

a politician, or a public servant - they are rife throughout the Territory ..

    Richard Flanigan Richard Flanigan 12:48 pm 22 Feb 18

    Politicus spendicus with a picture of an empty wallet.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:42 pm 21 Feb 18

A Mamil would be more appropriate.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:42 pm 21 Feb 18

The echidna and the platypus are egg laying mammals.

    Milo11 Milo11 7:59 am 22 Feb 18

    Echidna and Platypus are Monotremes

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:43 am 22 Feb 18

    On an ABC quiz show earlier this week they were declared to be mammals. Everything on the ABC is fact-checked.

    Ghettosmurf87 Ghettosmurf87 12:35 pm 22 Feb 18

    Monotremes are a mammalian subclass (prototheria).

    “Monotremes are one of the three main groups of living mammals, along with placentals (Eutheria) and marsupials (Metatheria)”

Jennie Wagner-Gorton Jennie Wagner-Gorton 7:01 pm 21 Feb 18

It should just be a bunch of people in cars, tailing each other and speeding.

Scott Layton Scott Layton 5:48 pm 21 Feb 18

Why is the echidna on the list, it's not a mammal

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 10:28 am 22 Feb 18

    Did you miss the bit in school where the Platypus and Echidna are the only two egg laying mammals, also known as monotremes.

    Scott Layton Scott Layton 10:30 am 22 Feb 18

    Monotremes aren't mammals because they don't have mammery glands

    Robyne Mitchell Robyne Mitchell 1:10 pm 22 Feb 18

    first para of Wikipedia - which I learned in school some 50+ years ago - Echidnas (/ɪˈkɪdnə/), sometimes known as spiny anteaters,[1] belong to the family Tachyglossidae in the monotreme order of egg-laying mammals. The four extant species, together with the platypus, are the only surviving members of the order Monotremata and are the only living mammals that lay eggs.[2] The diet of some species consists of ants and termites, but they are not closely related to the true anteaters of the Americas. Echidnas live in Australia and New Guinea.

Janet Ilchef Janet Ilchef 5:18 pm 21 Feb 18

Common ringtail possum

David Brown David Brown 5:09 pm 21 Feb 18

The echidna is gorgeous but it does not have a distinct shape. In silhouette it will just be a blob.

Meryl McKerrow Meryl McKerrow 5:05 pm 21 Feb 18

Mulligans Flat Quoll

Ben Roberts Ben Roberts 4:39 pm 21 Feb 18

Should be the Kangaroo because the bloody menaces are always trying to throw themselves in front of our cars.

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