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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 3 Hansard (23 March) . .

Page.. 963..


and reporting more efficient. It will facilitate better quality reporting, and resources and time lines can be shared.

It is important that we have efficient processes to support the protection of our natural environment. While the frequency of reporting is important, the efficient use of resources and the quality of reporting is also important. Aligning ACT reporting with reviews under commonwealth legislation will ensure that the ACT can introduce the same time lines for reviewing plans, aligning management actions and reporting on outcomes. This will ultimately enable better quality reporting and management of Ramsar wetlands.

There are also a number of technical and editorial amendments in the bill. While these do not change the policy intent of legislation, they are nonetheless important for maintaining the effective operation of legislation. I would like to mention one of these as an example.

Clause 18 of the bill amends the Public Place Names Act 1989 in relation to consultation on the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vocabulary for public place names. The amendment removes a redundant requirement to consult with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, or ATSIC, as the organisation no longer exists. In its place, the amendment requires that the minister take responsible steps, and reasonable steps, to consult with an appropriate cultural group on the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander words or names.

This amendment has a positive impact on consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups because it replaces a redundant provision with a positive requirement to find and consult with an appropriate cultural group. These groups could be local Aboriginal councils or larger state bodies, depending on the circumstances. The amendment formalises the current practice that the Surveyor-General's office has adopted in finding local groups to consult with when selecting public place names.

The wording of the amendment also recognises that not all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups are the same, and some may not be resourced to respond to the administrative burden of consultation requests. The amendment provides flexibility to find groups that are willing and able to contribute, without burdening other groups with a legislative requirement to consult with them.

Madam Speaker, PABELAB makes the amendments I have mentioned, as well as a number of other non-controversial ones. These amendments will improve our planning, building and environment laws and, while only minor in nature, they make necessary and worthwhile changes. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Lawder) adjourned to the next sitting.

Liquor Amendment Bill 2017

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


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