Page 3241 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022

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I also note Ms Vassarotti’s statement this morning regarding the registration of engineers, which the Canberra Liberals wholeheartedly support. We look forward to seeing the relevant legislation, which I gather is next month. The Canberra Liberals have long believed that trades licensing is extremely important, and we are supportive of this push.

We also genuinely look forward to seeing the draft legislation, when it becomes available, regarding developer licensing and regulation. We certainly note that this legislation or this potential change is innovative and it is bold. We could well become the first jurisdiction to go down this path. I think it is more important than ever that consultation on these changes is extremely wideranging and that feedback from all sectors is genuinely taken on board.

We understand what the government is trying to achieve with this legislation, but we also understand that it is a hell of a lot easier to get this wrong than it is to get it right. If we get this legislation wrong, it could have vast, unintended consequences which could lead to extremely poor outcomes for Canberrans. That is notwithstanding the fact that there have been some poor outcomes, and that is obviously why we are going down this path. I am just saying that the Canberra Liberals look forward to working with the minister and government as we move forward in that space.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.27): I rise today to speak briefly on the Appropriation Bill 2022-2023 as it relates to my portfolios of environment, heritage and water. I would like to start, firstly, with environment. We are all blessed to live in Canberra, in the bush capital. We have a community that genuinely cares about our natural environment and that wants to see it preserved, protected and improved.

Since taking on this portfolio, however, I have been a bit disappointed with the business-as-usual approach by the minister in this area. Despite some lovely talk from the minister, her actions have not really demonstrated any willingness to stand up to her Labor colleagues on environmental and animal welfare concerns. For example, she was elected on a platform that promised to make Bluetts Block a nature reserve. As yet, she has failed to deliver on this promise and ignored the advocacy of her government backbenchers. Bluetts Block is still not protected and I am starting to wonder whether it will be made a nature reserve during this parliamentary term. If it is, it apparently will not be because of the great advocacy of the Greens minister.

Just last week, we saw the Greens heroically vote against funding for the horseracing industry. On the other hand, we have not seen the minister stand up to protect joeys clubbed to death or wild dogs experiencing cruel, painful deaths from 1080 bait. They are happy to vote against horseracing but not to protect other animals from terrible deaths. Nobody can show us a double standard quite like our friends in the Greens.

On the heritage front, the budget reveals that, once again, the government has failed to meet its target of 90 per cent for development application advice issued within 15 working days of referral by the ACT planning and land authority. The 2020-21 budget, where they also failed to meet the target, included a footnote that stated that in the past seven years advice issued by the ACT Heritage Council had increased by 122 per cent. A hundred and twenty-two per cent? It almost sounds like the ACT Heritage Council may have been under-resourced for those past few years, although,

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