Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 5 May 2005 2005) . . Page.. 1862 ..
That is the approach that has been adopted in the Animal Diseases Act, the Plant Diseases Act and the Stock Act. The argument that enforcement would be enhanced has no basis. In practice, it is the chief executive who heads, and would almost certainly always head, the administrative unit with carriage of or responsibility for the administration of this legislation, and that is the executive director of arts, heritage and environment.
It is the government’s opinion, not just as a matter of practicality, that it is more appropriate that it be the chief executive that is charged with this particular responsibility. We oppose the amendments Dr Foskey has moved in this instance, and signal that the government will be supporting further amendments proposed by Dr Foskey.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (12.12): I seek leave to move amendments Nos 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 21 and 22 circulated in my name together.
DR FOSKEY: I move amendments Nos 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 21 and 22 circulated in my name together [see schedule 1 at page 1931]. I am very pleased that the government has signalled its intention to approve my amendments. Briefly, I think it makes so much sense that propagation is at least as important as supply. This amendment inserts the word “propagation” in all the instances I have detailed in that list of numbers.
For instance, it will amend the legislation that where “supply” is mentioned the word “propagation” is also mentioned. The aim of this is to strengthen the act. I refer again to the case I mentioned the other day—bearskin fescue—which highlights this point of the case. The information again comes from the World Wildlife Fund report that, of course, we are all leaning on quite heavily today.
In 2003 bearskin fescue, which I think is a wonderful name, was imported by a large wholesale nursery located in Victoria. They set up the process of propagating it. In November 2004 the species became available for sale in the eastern states and is even being promoted for water-wise gardens.
This I think points to the kind of problem we can get when we have tunnel thinking in relation to a number of the concerns that confront us as a territory. We are concerned that people have gardens that reduce their reliance on our potable water supply, but are the people promoting that talking to the people who are making sure we reduce the potential for weeds to grow here? That is probably a bit of an aside, but I felt the point was well worth making.
Western Australia did a risk assessment on this plant earlier this year, which found it had significant potential to become an environmental and grazing weed. These amendments will mean that, once a plant is declared a prohibited pest plant, it will become an offence to propagate it as well as to supply it.