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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1373 ..


with something less damaging. Minister, how is it fair to residents when they must pay sometimes thousands of dollars for damage caused by a tree they did not plant and are not allowed to remove and replace?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question regarding trees. They are a fantastic part of Canberra’s city landscape. One of the reasons why we love living here is our fantastic trees. Trees do cause damage. As I have said, I am happy to consider the circumstances, exceptional or not, in relation to a particular case; they will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Tree roots can cause damage to some infrastructure and the approach that TCCS takes is to try and, where possible, stop that damage from occurring and remediate if possible. It depends on whose tree it is as well. I do not know the circumstances of the case—it may be on leased land; it may be on unleased land. We can consider all those circumstances in relation to a particular case.

Opposition members interjecting

MR STEEL: There are guidelines and laws, and the member is a member of the Assembly and has a responsibility as a legislator in here as well. We will be looking at outcomes of a review into the Tree Protection Act later on in the year and also further tree legislation. There will be an opportunity for all members of this place to have their say about how trees should be managed in the ACT according to law.

MR CAIN: Minister, what financial assistance does the government offer people who continually have their property damaged by protected trees, irrespective of who owns the tree?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. I am happy to provide the detail on notice, but there is a possibility that TCCS can consider providing financial support if damage has occurred in particular circumstances. I will outline those circumstances to you on notice.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, will the government consider reimbursing residents who have to pay excessive costs to repair property that has been damaged by protected trees?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. As I have just said, I will provide that detail to the Assembly on the guidelines in relation on reimbursement for damage that occurs as a result of a tree.

Industrial relations—work safety

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety. Minister, how is the ACT government protecting Canberra workers?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for her question and, of course, her interest in workplace safety in the ACT. The government is working on legislation to establish industrial manslaughter as an offence under the Work Health and Safety Act. This legislative change will include an increase in scope of responsibility and an increase


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