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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 4 Hansard (7 April) . .

Page.. 1244..

consultants and academic researchers to undertake important work, such as assessing the heritage significance of sites. It will also help to inform whether proposed development will impact on heritage significance.

To ensure that restricted information is not used improperly and does not compromise the heritage significance of a place or object, there are restrictions on when the council can release information and on the applicant publishing that information. This amendment finds an appropriate balance between the protection of both Aboriginal and registered places and objects, and the release of important information to the heritage profession.

I would like also to introduce minor policy amendments to the Nature Conservation Act. Under the act the minister may declare a native species to be a controlled native species if satisfied that the species is having an unacceptable impact on an environmental, economic or social asset.

The first amendment in clause 49 is to reformulate the drafting of this provision by removing the reference to an asset, as it is often difficult to define environmental, economic and social impacts in terms of assets. The provision will now require consideration of environmental, economic or social impacts. This less restrictive terminology allows for a broader consideration of impacts and ensures that the environment is managed to prevent unacceptable impacts.

Clause 49 contains a second amendment that allows for a declaration to be made where the species is likely to have an unacceptable impact. As the provision is currently drafted, the declaration can only be made once an unacceptable impact has occurred. This means that management action, through a controlled native species management plan, can only take place in response to unacceptable damage. This is not best practice, and means that the management measures under a plan are inherently reacting to damage already caused. The amendment will allow for preventative management measures to be undertaken where a species is likely to have an unacceptable social, economic or environmental impact.

Madam Speaker, this bill makes a number of other minor policy, technical and editorial amendments to various pieces of environment and planning legislation. These amendments improve administration and decision-making processes, affirm the intent of planning and environmental processes, and fix minor editorial errors. The amendments make good practical sense and are non-controversial.

Madam Speaker, I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Amendment Bill 2016

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

Title read by Clerk.

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