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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 2065..

Questions without notice taken on notice

Animal welfare

Ms Gallagher (in reply to a question and a supplementary question by Ms Le Couteur on Thursday, 23 February 2012): On 4 February 2010, the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) formally recommended a Code of Practice for the Sale of Animals in the ACT (other than stock and commercial scale poultry) (the Sales Code) to the Government for implementation under section 22 of the Animal Welfare Act 1992.

Subsequent to this, on 19 March 2010, AWAC was requested by the then Chief Minister, to re examine the Sales Code with a view to including mandatory standards, as permitted under recent changes to the Animal Welfare Act 1992.

It is acknowledged that there have been delays in progressing the Sales Code. The sensitivity of the issue and the time required by AWAC to consider the mandatory standards and to reach consensus has contributed to delays with the Committee's development of a draft Sales Code.

TAMS has reviewed the AWAC draft Sales Code and, as it contains provisions (mandatory standards) that are enforceable by law, the directorate is seeking legal advice on the application and reasonableness of the provisions through the Justice and Community Safety Directorate. At the same time, I have asked TAMS to commence stakeholder consultation on the draft AWAC Sales Code.

In relation to the broader discussion paper to be released in mid 2010, I am advised that this did not occur, mainly due to the change of focus to include mandatory standards. While there have been lengthy delays to date, I have now asked TAMS to commence stakeholder consultation on AWAC's draft Sales Code as soon as possible, rather than taking more time in developing a discussion paper.

Thank you for raising these matters with me.


Ms Gallagher (in reply to a question and a supplementary question by Ms Hunter on Thursday, 30 June 2012): The Expert Reference Group (ERG) has not been reconvened. The ERG was established to make recommendations on the implementation of the Urban Forest Renewal Program which was discontinued in line with Recommendation 1 in the Report by the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment (CSE) following the 'Investigation into the Government's tree management practices and the renewal of Canberra's urban forest'.

The CSE recommended the Urban Forest Renewal Program be replaced with comprehensive and integrated urban tree protection and management focused on the care and maintenance of Canberra's tree landscape. In addition, the CSE recommended a cross agency Tree Network Committee be developed to provide advice and coordination between agencies on tree management and communication.

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