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The Nature Conservation (Amendment) Bill 1995 amends the Nature Conservation Act 1980. The Nature Conservation Act provides for the protection of native plants and animals and the management of nature reserves and national parks. The purpose of the Bill is to exempt leased urban land from native tree controls. In doing so, it reinstates a provision that was inadvertently deleted during drafting of an amendment to the Nature Conservation Act in 1994.

Priorities for management of native trees on urban blocks are best determined by individual occupant practice and preference. The vast majority of trees on urban leases are planted, managed and disposed of by the occupant and a regular turnover and net gain of trees is quite typical. Nature conservation values are often enhanced incidentally to landscape, safety and engineering infrastructure considerations. Canberra has an enviable and longstanding record of successful tree establishment and management programs in public lands, reflected in our streets, parks and reserves. This bush capital image is complemented by a strong community landscape ethic, which would not be well served by additional and unnecessary controls. The implications of implementing controls for what is, in effect, an urban trees preservation program are significant in terms of administrative costs and an unnecessary imposition on the community without any correspondingly significant nature conservation benefits.

The opportunity is taken to insert appeal rights in respect of decisions taken under section 49 of the Nature Conservation Act, which gives the Conservator of Flora and Fauna authority to give directions to the owner of a native animal or native plant that is suffering from a disease. The Nature Conservation (Amendment) Bill 1995 removes an unnecessary control over the management of urban leases, and I commend it to the house.

Debate (on motion by Mr Berry) adjourned.


Motion (by Mr Humphries) agreed to:

That leave of absence from 2 to 12 September 1995 inclusive be given to Ms Tucker.


MR SPEAKER: I would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of students from Lyneham Primary School.

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