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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 May 2005 2005) . . Page.. 1706 ..


fundamentally important that our legislation does mesh with that that exists in New South Wales.

Members are also aware—and this has been commented on in this debate—that Western Australia has adopted a different approach to management of pest plants, whereby all import and trade is prohibited unless the species concerned is scheduled as a permitted species. This approach is favoured by the World Wide Fund, which recently published a report on the matter and which has been referred to. But Western Australia, as we know, is separated from the eastern states; points of entry are few and can be controlled much more easily. A permitted list approach may be feasible in Western Australia. On the other hand, the eastern seaboard covers a range of jurisdictions, points of entry are diffuse, and the range of introduced and native species with weed potential is substantial.

Restriction on trade to a permitted list, as proposed by Western Australia, is clearly an impractical proposition on the eastern seaboard. It is much more sensible to adopt a risk management approach where pests of concern are targeted in a harmonised fashion, on a bioregional scale, with areas of compliance focus directed and significant pathways of introduction, especially the retail sector.

The ACT officials have discussed the Western Australian model with the World Wide Fund and suggested its lack of practicality or application on the eastern seaboard and the World Wide Fund now acknowledges that the Western Australian model is almost certainly not effective for the eastern seaboard and would not have their support for utilisation on the eastern seaboard.

The Pest Plants and Animals Bill represents a more comprehensive and targeted approach to managing the impact of pest plants and animals in the ACT. The bill establishes a process for declaring a pest and the development of a management response to the threat posed by a declared pest. It also establishes offences for actions that could result in the introduction or spread of a pest.

In particular, the bill recognises certain classes of pests that reflect their distribution or abundance, the practicality of control or management measures and the potential for new pests to establish in the ACT. This bill, when enacted, will see the ACT at the forefront of best practice legislation for the management of pest plants and animals in Australia. It will support the strategic approach necessary to ensure that our considerable investment in pest management is cost effective and achieves sustained outcomes to the benefit of the environment, agriculture and the community.

The Pest Plants and Animals Bill will enable the ACT to work in concert with New South Wales to achieve a high standard of pest management in a collaborative way. A collaborative approach to addressing pest management issues will continue to be an essential component of pest management strategies. Private and public land managers, the horticultural and pet retail sectors and the broader community are all stakeholders in achieving effective and sustained pest management outcomes.

The government will continue to assist these groups through information and education programs and support for the design and coordinated delivery of extension and management programs. This is an excellent piece of legislation. It is an absolute credit to the officers of Environment ACT who have expended considerable energy and effort,


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