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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 05 Hansard (Friday, 14 May 2004) . . Page.. 1929 ..

I hope that incorporated limited partnerships will serve as useful vehicles to achieve investment objectives envisaged in the Economic White Paper, such as assisting innovation-based private sector firms and addressing the concern about the vulnerability of the narrow structure of the ACT economy. I trust that this bill will be well received by the investment community and businesses in the ACT and outside. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.

Tree Protection Bill 2004

Mr Quinlan, on behalf of Mr Stanhope, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (11.06): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This is written in the third person. On behalf of the Minister for Environment, with great satisfaction I bring the Tree Protection Bill to the Assembly today—a bill for the permanent protection of urban Canberra. Every Canberran enjoys the benefits of living in one of Australia’s best urban forests. The urban forest provides us with economic, environmental and aesthetic benefits as well as playing an important role in the realisation of Walter Burley Griffin’s vision of a city. The development and maintenance of a healthy urban forest is an important step towards creating a sustainable city. This bill will replace the Tree Protection (Interim Scheme) Act 2001 with legislation that will significantly improve the protection of outstanding trees throughout the city and will ensure that the benefits of the urban forest can be enjoyed long into the future.

In October 2002 the government released a discussion paper, Tree Protection for the ACT: The Next Steps. This discussion paper canvassed a range of issues that arose during the administration of the interim scheme. The community response to the discussion paper and subsequent consultation was strongly supportive of tree protection; however, the most common complaint was the onerous and unnecessary intrusive nature of the current interim scheme. It is apparent from the community consultation that the broadscale, scattergun approach of the interim scheme is not appropriate and is unnecessarily intrusive upon the activities of the very people who helped create Canberra’s garden city image.

However, the interim scheme has been valuable in preventing the unnecessary removal of trees and wholesale block clearing in redevelopment projects, and has been a major factor in making architects and developers consider trees in the planning process. There are many individual trees and groups of trees throughout this city upon which the community places a lot of importance. Some of the old remnant eucalypts, for example, provide an important link to our past. Some trees are valuable for ecological or botanical reasons, or simply for their outstanding contribution to the landscape of the city.

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