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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2295 ..

In relation to consultation that has happened to date, ACT government conservation officers have actually undertaken a site visit on 30 June 2020 to discuss the proposed development in Lawson with Defence Housing Australia. Future development that will occur will be subject to environmental approval, particularly under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and planning approval by the national capital act. The ACT government will be able to provide consultation but will not be the decision-maker in the matter.

MS CLAY: Do you think Lawson Grasslands should be protected?

MS VASSAROTTI: Certainly, with the ecological values that have been identified on the site, particularly in terms of ecological communities of the temperate grasslands and the woodlands threatened communities as well that have been confirmed on the site, it meets criteria that if this site was on ACT government land I think we would absolutely look at protecting the site. We do know that it does have elements on the site that means that it does need to be looked at in terms of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Sadly, because it is national land there is not an opportunity to have any approval, but it certainly contains elements that we could consider would be important to protect.

MR BRADDOCK: Minister, is EPSDD actively working on any feedback on this development at the moment? If so, what are they working on?

MS VASSAROTTI: Thank you for the question. As noted, because it will go through an approval process through the EPBC Act, we know that the relevant government department, the commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, will be contacting EPSDD for comment. We do not have access to the use of a bilateral agreement, because it is on national land, but we certainly have been engaging in terms of understanding what is on the site and we will be very active in that approval process in terms of providing information.

Discrimination—sexual harassment

DR PATERSON: My question is to the Minister for Women. Minister, what is the ACT government doing to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in our workplaces and across the community?

MS BERRY: I thank Dr Paterson for her question. Of course the ACT government is making great progress against its commitments to prevent and respond to sexual harassment across the ACT community. Members will recall that in June, I announced the appointment of the chair of the overarching Steering Committee for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, Renee Leon, who is an experienced CEO with over 15 years in senior roles, including as departmental secretary in the Australian Public Service. In her role as the chair, Ms Leon will work with the steering committee representatives and the working groups and reference groups in this program to drive prevention responses for sexual harassment and assault in the ACT, and to advise on new priorities for action by the government.

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