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be a problem because it does go to the protection of our native species. Yes, it is on leased suburban blocks, but I think the important feature of the legislation is that it does impose the requirement for people to have a reasonable excuse before they proceed to damage, fell, or cause to be felled, standing native timber in the backyard.

Other proposals have been put forward that would change the way the penalty units apply. The Opposition would have no difficulty with that, and I have circulated a proposed amendment that would change the penalty arrangements in the existing section 43 to provide for 50 penalty units, along with the proposals that have been put forward by the Government. In relation to subsection (3) of clause 43, the Opposition will also oppose the Government's proposed amendments to that clause because we feel that the reasonable excuse argument would stand the test of time. If you look at the proposal that was put forward in the original legislation, ACTEW, for example, are able, by means of exemption, to deal with trees that interfere with the provision of electricity. A reasonable excuse would be the removal of a tree that was causing some sort of hazard. I suspect that the courts would rule that the removal of a tree that was blocking one's northern sunlight would be a reasonable excuse; the removal of a tree that was damaging a house or part thereof would be regarded as a reasonable excuse. If there was any doubt in the mind of an occupier, they could go and get themselves a licence. I do not see this as a major problem. It has not been one that has led to a community outcry against the provisions.

Mr Humphries: Because it has not been used. It has been dormant.

MR BERRY: The legislation has been in place for some time and there has not been a community outcry about it. In the Opposition's view, there is no need to remove these provisions.

As I have said, we will support inclusion of the penalty units approach. In relation to clause 5, dealing with the review of the conservator’s decisions, the Opposition will agree with that because we think it is sensible. However, we do not agree with the proposal to change the law in relation to leased land in a built-up area, because we think it is workable. It is consistent with our policy and, unlike you, Mr Humphries, we like to stick with our policies and promises.

Mr Humphries: It was not your policy.

MR BERRY: Mr Humphries interjects that it was not our policy. I read it out earlier, as follows:

Labor will ... introduce legislation to protect the ACT's native trees outside of reserves, particularly those on residential blocks and verges.

The policy is in place and, as far as we are concerned, it is reasonable legislation that the courts would interpret reasonably.

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