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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . .

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appropriate at this time for the tribunal to evolve by having a president that is a magistrate or someone eligible to be a magistrate rather than requiring this role to be filled by a judge. This will bring the ACT in line with the Northern Territory. When one considers appointing a Supreme Court judge, there starts to be an argument that the culture of ACAT could change. It needs to remain an informal and accessible court, and I think the magistrate requirement will strike the right balance in that space.

To conclude, I support the changes. I think they will be beneficial to ACAT and improve access to justice. ACAT is an important forum for people in the ACT to have a variety of legal matters resolved, and I will be keenly watching how these reforms unfold.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Capital Metro, Minister for Health, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change) (10.58), in reply: I thank members for their support of the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Nature Conservation Amendment Bill 2016

Debate resumed from 3 May 2016, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (10.59): I am pleased to speak today on the Nature Conservation Amendment Bill 2016. It is a bill to amend the Nature Conservation Act 2014 and for other purposes and seeks to facilitate the following: to adopt a common assessment method to assess nationally threatened matters based on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the IUCN, categories and criteria which may also be used to assess regionally threatened matters if chosen by jurisdictions; to enable mutual recognition of other jurisdictions' assessments and listing decisions for nationally threatened matters, supported by enhanced information exchange and sharing between jurisdictions; to facilitate a single operational list of nationally threatened and regionally threatened matters whereby national and regional lists are mutually exclusive, and the same species or ecological community on different jurisdictions' lists must have the same threat category; to assist in ensuring that the common assessment method will be applied in a hierarchical way so that the conservation status of a species or ecological community is first assessed at a national scale; to ensure that species and ecological communities that are currently listed as threatened would be transitioned to an agreed threat category on the ACT threatened species list, either national or regional category.

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