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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 4 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1260..

United Kingdom in 2001. Swill feeding is well recognised as a significant risk factor for the introduction of several emergency animal diseases, with the potential for devastating impacts on Australia's livestock and related industries and overall economy.

The amendments that I am proposing are in anticipation of national legislation to stop the spread of several animal diseases. The Matthews report, commissioned by the Australian government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, identified the effectiveness of swill feeding provisions as one of 11 significant issues in foot and mouth disease preparedness. In response to this report, the National Biosecurity Committee developed a national foot and mouth disease action plan. The development of nationally harmonised swill feeding legislation and controls forms part of this plan. To support emergency animal disease control activities in the event of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Australia, the bill introduces section 34A to provide for the rapid removal of all exemptions to the definition of "prohibited pig feed".

This bill also amends the Domestic Animal Act 2000 and the Magistrates Court (Domestic Animals Infringement Notices) Regulation 2005, to replace the term cat "curfew"with "containment". This amendment is designed to help better reflect the intention of the legislation in requiring cat owners to contain their cats to their property in designated areas.

Due to the risk cats pose to native wildlife, the ACT government has declared cat containment areas in Bonner, Crace, Coombs, Denman Prospect, Forde, the Fair at Watson, Lawson, Molonglo and Wright. Residents within cat containment areas are required to keep their cats confined to their premises 24 hours a day. This can be achieved by confining cats to the house or providing a purpose-built cat enclosure on the premises. It is anticipated that this amendment will enhance residents' understanding of the objectives of the legislation and their obligations.

The bill also amends the Public Unleased Land Act 2013. During the federal election campaign in September 2013, it was discovered that the Public Unleased Land Act could be interpreted to mean that approval is required to place on unleased land any sign, whether fixed or movable. However this was not the original intention. The bill amends section 26 of the Public Unleased Land Act to clarify that an approval is only required to place fixed signs on unleased land, not movable signs.

Finally, the bill amends an incorrect reference in section 98(4)(d)(i) of the Public Unleased Land Act, by replacing the incorrect reference to section 101 with the correct reference to section 99. Amendments to the Public Unleased Land Act 2013 will further improve the laws that govern the use of public land.

The Territory and Municipal Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 puts forward technical amendments that do not reflect major changes in government policies. However the amendments in the bill are designed to help the government better administer the laws that govern public unleased land, urban cat management and primary industries. This in turn will help to better protect and assist people in our community. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

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

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