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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . .

Page.. 1295..


Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Planning, Building and Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Debate resumed from 26 March 2015, on motion by Mr Gentleman:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (11.18): The opposition will support the Planning, Building and Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2015. This bill is the eighth omnibus bill in the planning, building and environment space and contains minor amendments to the following regulations and legislation: the Building Act 2004 and Building (General) Regulation 2008; the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004 and Construction Occupations (Licensing) Regulations 2004; the Environment Protection Act 1997; the Planning and Development Regulation 2008; the Utilities Act 2000; and, finally, the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.

Many of the amendments in this bill are designed to ensure the safe removal of asbestos. Since January this year asbestos assessor and removalist licensing has been regulated under the Work Health and Safety Act and the Dangerous Substances Act. Under provisions in those acts, asbestos can be removed only by a licensed asbestos removalist. A licensed asbestos removalist is not necessarily a licensed builder, and under the current construction occupation licensing laws a builder's licence does not allow the handling of asbestos.

This means there is a gap in the legislation when it comes to the structural work on a building—for example, the demolition of a Mr Fluffy house. In order for the demolition to be carried out or supervised by a licensed builder, the restriction on builders dealing with asbestos will be removed under the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act. It should be noted that the restriction is only lifted for structural work that actually requires a builder to supervise it.

This bill also contains minor amendments that remove power over asbestos matters from the Building Act to reflect the fact they are now covered by the Dangerous Substances Act and the Safety Act. This bill contains minor amendments to the Environment Protection Act to bring it in line with changes made to the territory plan a couple of years ago relating to the way plantation forestry areas are identified. Amendments are also made to wording related to forests. An amendment to the Planning and Development Regulation corrects an error in the regulation and changes the statutory officer from the director-general to the technical regulator. The final amendments in this bill are largely minor editorial ones.


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