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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (13 May) . . Page.. 1894..

MS TUCKER (10.42): It seems we are speaking to the amendment on the blue paper and on the sand-coloured paper, so I will do the same thing. Mr Corbell has just been claiming that this is specifically about the Gungahlin Drive extension but, obviously, the amendment on the blue is not. It does not mention the Gungahlin Drive extension at all. It introduces to our nature protection laws a situation where appeal rights-which Simon Corbell fiercely defended when in opposition and Labor's election policy also fiercely defended-will be taken away from people in the ACT community.

This amendment on the blue does not specifically address the Gungahlin Drive extension. It once again shows how the government is prepared to fundamentally override the checks and balances we thought we had in the ACT. It attacks our democratic system in the ACT and it is a very concerning initiative from Simon Corbell, whom I remember standing on that side of the house telling people in the Canberra community that he would fiercely defend their rights of appeal.

The second option, on the buff-coloured paper, is a narrow version of the first, in that call-in-that is, the removal of scrutiny via appeal to the AAT-is restricted to works on the GDE. This amendment still creates an exemption of scrutiny within the Nature Conservation Act where none existed before, and I say that this is a dangerous path for a short-term gain-that is, a gain as seen by the government but a loss in our view. We take nature protection laws very seriously, and we will not be supporting either of these amendments.

Debate interrupted.

Suspension of standing order 76

MRS CROSS (10.44): I move:

That standing order 76 be suspended for the remainder of this sitting.

Given that this debate is still going, and there's an 11 o'clock rule that nothing can be done after 11 o'clock, I will need to seek leave to speak on Cyprus, the motion that I originally had on the notice paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2004

Detail stage

Proposed new clauses 8A, 8B and 8C.

Debate resumed.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (10.46): I want to address some of the misrepresentations made by Ms Tucker in this debate. First of all, she says that the removal of these appeal rights, as outlined in the amendment on the blue paper, is in some way an arbitrary act by the government that is not subject to any review-she said "a lack of checks and balances". Ms Tucker, the declaration by the

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