Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 7 June 2018) . . Page.. 2234 ..
I received a copy of this report on 4 May 2018. As the minister responsible for reports undertaken by the commissioner, I am tabling this report within the required six sitting days of receipt of the report. The audit was undertaken in accordance with the Commonwealth’s Independent Audit and Audit Report Guidelines 2015, which establish strict requirements for compliance audits and the auditors.
The audit concluded that the compliance status of the 60 commitments is as follows—this is outlined on page 62 of the report—16 were compliant, 28 were compliant with an observation, 11 were noncompliant, four were undetermined and one was not applicable. Many of the noncompliant commitments were in relation to the late delivery of reports, especially management plans. The commissioner applied a risk rating to commitments to ensure that effort is placed on the most critical elements. Compliance regarding 13 commitments was assessed as high risk, including finalisation of the Kama nature reserve buffer.
Four corrective action requests were issued to the ACT government: firstly, provision of the final draft Molonglo River Reserve management plan to the minister; secondly, finalisation of the operational plan for patch P to ensure appropriate management is occurring; third, incorporation of actions and monitoring requirements into relevant land management agreements for the protection of the ecological condition of matters of national environmental significance within patches I, L and M; and, fourthly, finalisation of the operational plan for the pink-tailed worm-lizard conservation area in the Molonglo River Reserve.
Relevant agencies are required to undertake action to reduce or eliminate the risks associated with noncompliance of these actions. I am pleased to advise that agencies provided a timely response to the corrective action request due on 30 April 2018. The remaining three corrective action requests are due later this year.
This independent compliance audit was finalised in consultation with the ACT government and coordinated by the impact assessment team in the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate. The commissioner provided 12 recommendations for government to consider in the ongoing implementation of the Molonglo Valley strategic assessment. These are outlined on page 126.
In summary, the range of projects being undertaken, including habitat restoration and threatened species translocation, is impressive. However, we need to remain constantly vigilant about protecting matters of national environmental significance. Implementation is still in the early stages. These first six years of monitoring are critical for establishing baselines for future management. There is a need to maintain our efforts for the next 24 years and beyond.
The government will respond to the audit findings. This will be led by Minister Gentleman, as these matters fall within his portfolio as Minister for Planning and Land Management. Madam Speaker, I commend the independent audit of the Molonglo Valley strategic assessment to the Assembly.
Ms Stephen-Smith presented the following paper: