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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (5 March) . . Page.. 545..


been made or what reasons Actew puts forward for not having progressed the matter.

MS DUNDAS: During the debate, Treasurer, you raised some questions about how much influence the government has, and whether it can request that ActewAGL takes a particular action to ensure that this happens. Have you clarified your own position on whether or not you can ensure that ActewAGL is observing the provisions of the Territory Owned Corporations Act?

MR QUINLAN: I can advise the house that, no, I have not chased them. I probably should have had the relationship defined. As I think I probably would have said at the time-I do not have a detailed memory of the debate-because the previous government actually sold half of Actew, we do not have absolute control. We have a 50 per cent stake in the thing and therefore our control is limited by that much.

Effectively, as I understand it, ActewAGL can say no, and our only option is then to try to break the deal that sold Actew and put it back the way it was, which is an impossibility. To some extent, the deal, as it was presented to this house, was a bit of a joke, but we have to live with it. I am also aware that ActewAGL, as it operates in Canberra, has tried to be a decent corporate citizen. I am sure that I can investigate the matter and see whether it is a practicable thing, and whether they will attempt-

Mr Smyth: He has not asked them.

MR QUINLAN: No, I have not asked them. It is a very valid question but it is not a matter than I have had at the forefront of my mind, I have to say.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Trees in Nettlefold Street, Belconnen

MR STANHOPE: Yesterday, Ms Tucker asked me about the assessment undertaken of the trees in Nettlefold Street, Belconnen. Ms Tucker asked about apparent discrepancies in separate tree assessments around why one tree assessment referred to an unacceptable risk to public/private safety and the other did not. The quote "unacceptable risk to public/private safety"comes from the words in a standard tree assessment report. It is one of several criteria that can be applied. It is sufficient for just one criterion to be met to recommend the removal of a tree.

Unacceptable risk to public/private safety was not a reason used to recommend the removal of the tree in the tree assessment report of 3 April 2002, but the criterion "it is demonstrated that all reasonable alternative development options and design solutions have been considered to avoid the necessity for tree removal"was applied. That was done on the basis of an understanding that trees 11, 12, 13, 14 and 26 were not covered by the Tree Protection (Interim Scheme) Act 2001.

The tree assessment reports were completed on these trees to reflect the planning control plan of February 2001, which stated that removal would be permitted. Section 5 (b) of that act states that the act does not apply "to the removal of a tree in accordance with a condition of the lease where the tree is located, if the condition was in force immediately before the commencement of this Act."Therefore, in the tree assessment report


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