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with a tape recorder. You do need skilled people to be able to use the material; to draw out the right sort of material; to know what needs to be gathered. It has been said before that oral history is not something you can put aside as being of low priority and you can gather in due course. Oral history inevitably comes from the older generations - although not totally, because young people still have much that can be said about current events that ought to be reported. I think it is a matter that cannot be delayed. It is one that needs constant activity. I know that in the Labor Party policy that I put out we provided some funds - never quite enough, I suppose - to carry on some of that work. Since Mr Humphries raised this in his ministerial statement, I would encourage him to work further on that. It is important and there is much that needs to be done.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (11.33), in reply: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Wood for his comments on this paper, which I hope will provide some stimulus to the issues that have been raised in it, and perhaps some of the issues that Mr Wood has raised as well. One of the things that I discerned from the comments Mr Wood made was the difficulty in working out how you integrate heritage considerations and the preservation of heritage assets within other processes of government - things like planning decisions, decisions about major public infrastructure like the culture and heritage centre, and so on. The answer is not very clear to any of us. For example, in the space of this week alone I have had representations from individuals suggesting that we should fully integrate the heritage assessment process within our planning process, so that it is not a reference to an outside body but is built into the ACT planning process system, and, alternatively, the view that we should be completely divorced from that; that there should be an independent statutory body with the capacity to do its work without direction from government and to make appropriate recommendations. The answer is not entirely clear. Possibly the answer is to give the ACT Planning Authority statutory independence and build heritage considerations very firmly into that process. Perhaps that is the answer; but we will have more to say on that subject, I am sure, in the coming months.
Mr Wood posed the question of whether I have met with the steering committee for the culture and heritage centre. The answer is no, I have not, as yet. I believe that the chair of that committee is coming to see me some time in the next couple of weeks. That will happen quite soon. I think Mr Wood is arranging to be briefed on the situation with the culture and heritage centre at some stage soon.
Mr Wood: I thought you might do it now. If you send a briefing, that will be fine.
MR HUMPHRIES: Yes. The issue is a complex one, as Mr Wood no doubt knows, and I am sure that he will appreciate having a briefing from officers at the time.
Mr Speaker, Mr Wood made reference to some issues to do with the overemphasis on English-speaking heritage to the detriment, possibly, of indigenous people's heritage and that of immigrants to this country. I think I would have to agree with him that there is a problem with that. Certainly, to some extent, our funding system is based on the applications that are made, obviously, and that benefits those people who are able to use the system effectively and to frame, to be frank, successful and succinct applications for funding. I was appalled to learn that funding under the heritage grants programs can apparently entail application forms running to well over 100 pages. That is an appalling