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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 September 2018) . . Page.. 3666 ..


seal, are minor in themselves but together will assist associations to reduce their own red tape.

The main amendments are in relation to clarifying processes for the resignation of a committee member, clarity on managing disclosures of interest, needing to have dispute resolution procedures, increased clarity on the role of committee members, processes for protecting personal information, and clarifying that a person’s mental or physical fitness is directly related to their ability to undertake their role.

I also note the increased revenue threshold for being required to appoint an auditor. This is an amendment I particularly support, as engaging an auditor can be a very expensive and time-consuming exercise for a small organisation. The ability to have their financial statements professionally reviewed still allows for the appropriate transparency and accountability that an auditor would provide.

These amendments make sense. At the same time they do not reduce the ability of funders such as governments to be assured that associations are managing their affairs, including their financial affairs, in ways that are accountable and transparent. The same goes, I believe, for members. I do not believe that any of the changes reduce the rights and obligations of members.

What is going to be important here is that associations are provided with education and information about these changes to ensure they remain compliant. Small organisations will need assistance to understand these amendments and will need assistance to build their confidence so that they can ensure compliance.

I understand that ACTCOSS provided input into earlier consultation about reducing red tape, and I trust that they will continue to be involved as these amendments take place. Perhaps they could be funded to develop resources to assist this process.

Madam Assistant Speaker, as you would imagine, the Greens are not at all keen on amendments to the Nature Conservation Act being dubbed “red tape reduction”. The processes around protecting threatened and endangered species are vital to so many species, and it really is offensive for these provisions to be called “red tape” in the first instance. It would have been more appropriate for these provisions to be within a PABELAB, a Planning, Building and Environment Legislation Amendment Bill. As I said, one key result of this problem in naming may be that relevant people and organisations have not realised that this bill is in fact relevant to them.

Having said this, the Greens support the streamlining and clarification of the key threatening processes listing process, as this was indeed largely duplicated in the act. This probably happened through the roundtable process in 2014 wherein the three parties in this place and all key stakeholders went through the bill clause by clause to capture all stakeholders’ issues and opinions, and maybe there were more insertions rather than streamlining at that time.

One key implication of the current act is that it was unclear whether the minister or the scientific committee or both should make assessments or provide the advice. This


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