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It is clear that the Government supports the majority of the recommendations in the report, and it is important to note that quite a few initiatives which relate to the recommendations are under way or are scheduled to commence in the near future. As I said, these are outlined in the response. The Government's support for the majority of the recommendations demonstrates its strong commitment to the effective long-term management of the ACT environment.

I understand that the 1995 report is currently being prepared by the Commissioner for the Environment. I have agreed, under section 30A of the Interpretation Act 1967, to a request from the commissioner for an extension of time of one month for presentation of the report. That means that it will be due on 29 September this year. In accordance with subsection 30A(6) of the Interpretation Act, I have tabled a copy of the commissioner's letter dated 26 July 1995 in which he requests the extension. I also table a copy of this tabling statement which outlines my reasons for approving it. In approving the extension, the Government acknowledges the tight timeframe which must be adhered to by the commissioner to prepare the report and that there have been some difficulties caused by the variations to the timing of the budget and annual agency reporting. The Government also acknowledges a slight delay in providing its input to the report, which was due to the change of government earlier this year and subsequent changes to the Administrative Arrangements. I look forward to receiving that report, which will provide a further means of gaining an independent assessment of the state of the ACT's environment and identifying constructive proposals for its future management.

To conclude, this Government response demonstrates a balanced and considered approach to the issues raised in the 1994 State of the Environment Report. It will contribute to the maintenance, enhancement and good management of the ACT environment. By responding in a considered and positive way to Dr Baker's report, the Government is demonstrating the high priority it places on sound and effective environmental management. It is my pleasure, therefore, to table that Government response to the report.

Debate (on motion by Mr Berry) adjourned.


Ministerial Statement and Paper

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister): I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement on the legislation program for the spring sittings 1995.

Leave granted.

MRS CARNELL: I am pleased to table the Government's proposed legislation program for the 1995 spring period. The program provides an overview of the legislation that the Government intends to introduce into the Assembly in the second half of this year as well as that which will be prepared for introduction at a later date. The Government has arranged its legislative proposals by portfolio and in a two-tier order of priority.

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