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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1606..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

The Victorian Trades Hall Council records that, for every 70 workers killed by their workplace in Australia, 53 die in the US and 14 die in the UK. These statistics by themselves are shocking.

Law reform is progressing in other jurisdictions. The ACT must be in line. With the comments of Mr Corbell, we will be in line with these reforms and we will also have the opportunity to lead this debate.

One preventable death on a work site is one too many. Industrial manslaughter legislation will address only those employers who flout the law and endanger employees.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Inquiries Amendment Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 20 February 2002, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Earth Charter

MS TUCKER (11.15): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) endorses the Earth Charter; and

(2) calls on the Government to adopt the Earth Charter as a framework of principles to help guide the work of its Office of Sustainability.

My motion today is, in effect, a continuation of a debate that started on 29 August 2000 in this Assembly. On that day the then Minister for Urban Services, Mr Smyth, presented the Earth Charter to the Assembly. He pointed out that the concept of an earth charter was first discussed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The need was felt for a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society for the 21st century with the aim of giving all people a sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the wellbeing of the human family and the rest of the living world.

The drafting of the Earth Charter was taken on by a group of non-government organisations and individuals, such as Maurice Strong, the secretary-general of the Earth Summit, and the former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, with the initial financial support of the Dutch government. They established the Earth Charter Commission in 1997 to progress the initiative.

An international drafting committee was established, which began a worldwide consultation process on the text of the charter, including consultations in Canberra organised by Dr Brendan Mackie from the ANU, who has taken a major role in promoting the Earth Charter in Australia. Mr Humphries, Mr Smyth, Mr Corbell and


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