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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 8 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 2384..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

revised schedule H reflecting the scope of the previous memorandum of understanding but providing for full participation in relevant decision making that concerns the ACT. It continues the exclusion of the ACT from liability arising from the operation and management of the River Murray.

The Murray-Darling Basin agreement requires that each participating jurisdiction enact legislation to give effect to the agreement as soon as practical after joining. This bill satisfies that requirement. It is a simple bill to give effect to the Murray-Darling Basin agreement in the ACT.

The need for ACT Murray-Darling Basin agreement legislation is now more acute given the scope and provisions of the commonwealth government's Water Bill 2007. The Murray-Darling Basin Commission will continue to function for some time irrespective of the timing of the enactment of the commonwealth government's Water Bill 2007. Transitional arrangements of the commonwealth's water legislation may incorporate aspects of jurisdictional participation in the Murray-Darling Basin agreement.

The current form of the agreement is included as schedule 1 and schedule 2. Part 1 contains information on commencement of the act, a dictionary and terms used in the Murray Darling Basin agreement. Part 2 contains the key functions of the bill, the approval of the agreement and the function and appointment of commissioners. Part 3 sets out general and administrative responsibilities required by the agreement. It includes actions that must be taken if the agreement is amended or new parties join the agreement.

Given the ACT's membership, we are progressing the development of an ACT cap on annual diversions for the territory's water requirements under the Murray-Darling Basin agreement. The cap will reflect current levels of use as well as a requirement for the capacity for the future growth of the ACT.

Schedule 1 provides for the Murray-Darling Basin agreement. Schedule 2 provides for the Murray-Darling Basin amending agreement 2006 which refers to approved amendments to the agreement from 2003 to 2005. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Dr Foskey ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Legal Profession Amendment Bill 2007

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo-Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.37): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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