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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 August 2019) . . Page.. 2577 ..

citizen who holds a special category visa under the same act. The requirement to be either an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia to be eligible for permanency within the ACT public service has been in effect for many years. Due to some amendments to the Public Sector Management Act in 2016, there has been some uncertainty around these eligibility requirements. The proposed amendment removes any doubt as to whether a New Zealand citizen with a special category visa is captured within the meaning of permanent resident.

Lastly, the amendment bill removes several erroneous notes about the application of the merit principle throughout the act. Notes contained within a piece of legislation are purely explanatory and do not become part of the legislation itself. Omitting the notes in relation to the merit and equity principle will remove ambiguity in its application and will also make it clear that short-term transfers without a formal merit process may be undertaken in certain circumstances. The merit and equity principle under section 27 of the Public Sector Management Act still applies for appointments and promotions within the ACT public service.

The amendments entirely refine and clarify practices that are already taking place within the ACT public service. I commend the legislation to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Coe) adjourned to the next sitting.

Planning and Development (Community Concessional Leases) Amendment Bill 2019

Mr Gentleman, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Advanced Technology and Space Industries) (10.42): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present the Planning and Development (Community Concessional Leases) Amendment Bill 2019. The bill establishes a more transparent and accountable framework for the identification and release of land to not-for-profit community organisations in the territory.

Currently, concessional land for lower order community uses such as scout halls, places of worship and men’s sheds is available on a reactive first come first served basis. The community direct sale mechanism within the Planning and Development Act 2007 and the Planning and Development Regulation 2008, as experience shows, creates an uneven playing field for community organisations, often favouring larger, well-resourced organisations over smaller grassroots operators and compromising community benefits.

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