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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . .

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with the court's interpretation of its meaning. This will avoid confusion and make future arguments about the operation of the statute less likely. The amendments in the bill apply from the time of introduction of the bill, making it clear that the repeal of section 431 applies to any future court consideration of the Eastman inquiry report.

In closing, I want to make it clear that these amendments do not alter the powers of an inquiry or the rights of those involved in an inquiry. The amendments make minor adjustments to bring the legislation into line with how it has since been interpreted by the Supreme Court. It will remove any doubt created by the inconsistency between the words of the statute on their face and how they have been interpreted, and maintain the independence of the court when it considers a report of an inquiry. It is in the interests of justice that these minor changes are made. The bill demonstrates the government's commitment to ensuring an independent and clear inquiry process. I thank members for their support of this straightforward and reasonable amendment.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Planning and Development (Bilateral Agreement) Amendment Bill 2014

Debate resumed from 14 August 2014, on motion by Mr Gentleman:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (10.22): Madam Speaker, the opposition will be supporting the adjournment of this bill in the in-principle stage today. This bill, we hope, will make changes to the environmental approval process, speed up approvals and ensure that developments are not unnecessarily delayed by having to go through two approval processes.

Although we support the bill in principle, I would like to express our disappointment in part of the process. This bill was supposed to be debated last week but was delayed due to its complexity and to allow for further consultation. It was then listed for debate on Thursday this week in the government's draft program. The opposition was advised late yesterday that the bill would instead be debated today. We understand that changes sometimes have to be made to the program, but bringing the debate forward removed the option of circulating amendments. I wonder if that was, in fact, the government's intention.

This bill will allow the ACT to sign up to the commonwealth's one-stop shop for environmental approvals. The Australian government is delivering a one-stop shop for environmental approvals by accrediting state and territory environmental planning systems under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. This

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