Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 22 September 2005) . . Page.. 3546 ..

Question so resolved in the negative.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (12.04): The opposition will be supporting this suite of amendments in relation to Aboriginal trees and their heritage. This is a useful suite of amendments that complement provisions in the Heritage Act itself. For the most part, they are uncontroversial.

On the matter of consultation that the Chief Minister dwelt upon, I may stand corrected but I do not know that I have ever said anything about there not being enough consultation. But may stand corrected; I will go back and check the record.

Yesterday I did not ask a question criticising the government about lack of consultation; I asked a question to obtain information. It turned out that the chap who spoke on the radio seems to have been wrong. People make mistakes. But it seemed so startling an oversight that I thought that it was reasonable to clarify that with the government. Yesterday in question time I did, however, ask the Chief Minister to table a list of the consultations and when they took place. I had not realised quite how important it was to ask the question when they took place.

I noticed that in both the press release the minister put out yesterday and in his statements today he refers to the fact that a number of LAPACs were consulted. Correct me if I am wrong, but it will probably come out that it has been two years since LAPACs were abolished. So that is not recent consultation. Presumably that was consultation on the 2004 bill. There are a large number of changes between the 2004 bill and the 2005 bill that we are currently debating. I would like the Chief Minister to table the list of consultations and when they took place. I do not have a problem with his saying that we consulted the LAPACs; that is fine and dandy but it is not recent consultation.

I would also be interested to know when Mr Smyth signed off that letter where the Chief Minister claims that he is in support of the legislation. It may have been so long ago that Mr Smyth has forgotten about it. We have to be very careful that we do not hold members of the pubic up to ridicule in here. The question that I asked yesterday was seeking information. It would have been a grave omission from the government if they had not consulted the arboriculturists.

I can only take the Chief Minister’s word that he did. It is probably a little unfortunate that the Chief Minister has used this as a means of ridiculing a member of the public. Sometimes we are put under pressure and we say things that are inappropriate, but we should be very careful about the way we treat members of the public. They are our electors; they are our masters; and we should be more respectful of them.

Amendments agreed to.

Clause 62, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 63 and 64, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 65.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . .