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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1933..

MR WOOD (continuing):

decision maker, the earlier approval will be revoked by the issue of the new approval. A decision by the minister to issue an approval only creates a right in the territory, anyone acting for the territory, the recipient of an approval, and anyone acting under an approval. The minister's decision is final and can only be challenged by a person in whom a right was created. In addition, any claims that a required approval has not been obtained or has not been properly given must be notified to the minister before any other action is taken.

The bill includes a power to make regulations; it expires after five years unless another date is prescribed under the regulations; it excludes decisions made under the bill as enacted from a review under the ADJR Act 1989; and includes amendments to the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991 to clarify issues regarding the call-in powers. The bill complements the other initiatives announced by the government to allow work on the project to recommence, including amendments to the Land Act regulations. It is time for the disruption of the project to stop and for the people of Gungahlin to get a fair go.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Roads and Public Places (Vandalism) Amendment Bill 2004

Mr Wood , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (11.20): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill is part of a whole-of-government strategy being developed to combat vandalism in our city, and amends the Roads and Public Places Act 1936 to facilitate the more rapid removal of graffiti and the protection of abandoned vehicles from vandals. The government spends almost $1 million a year on the removal of graffiti but is often impeded from doing so from private assets by the need to first obtain the property owner's approval.

In many instances where removal of graffiti from private assets is warranted the property is being rented, the owners are difficult to locate and there is no response to letters seeking approval to remove. The bill will simplify and speed up the process of graffiti removal from private assets by empowering government contractors, employers and employees to remove graffiti from private assets such as fences and building walls on private land, where the graffiti is visible and the place where it is located is accessible from public land and to do so whether or not the occupier of the land has agreed to this work being carried out. The government will continue to bear the cost for such removal.

Simplifying and speeding up the process of removal from private assets will not only protect our visual amenity but also reduce the peer recognition that comes from a graffiti tag, which is a graffitist's identifying mark or signature. It is important to understand that the bill does not place a legal obligation on the government to remove graffiti. In

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