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As the strategy states, the Government will release a discussion paper on the preferred management options for contaminated sites, including the possibility of legislation, and I hope that the community will again take the opportunity to become involved in this issue. The Government has already made a submission to the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment for their inquiry into contaminated sites management, and will continue to offer the committee its full assistance. Mr Speaker, we will be looking to any recommendations the committee might make in its report before developing a final position on options for this matter, including possible legislative amendments and the future management of contaminated sites. I commend this statement to the house.

MR MOORE (3.29): Mr Speaker, I rise to say a few words on this matter as chair of the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment that is inquiring into contaminated sites. My immediate reaction when Mr Humphries began speaking to this matter was to check standing order 59 about anticipating discussion of a matter on the notice paper. There is no doubt that, technically, the notice paper finishes where the Clerk has signed his name and that information about committees is presented just after that. However, in my mind there is some question of propriety in terms of the Minister making a statement before the committee has reported. In some ways it is a little disappointing because the committee has worked - - -

Mr Berry: Rude. Just “rude” would do.

MR MOORE: There is an interjection from the deputy chair of the committee, “Just rude”, and I suppose that in one sense that is the feeling that I have. It contrasts, Mr Speaker, with the very positive relationship that the committee has had with the Minister on this issue and other issues, and the very positive relationship we have had with the public servants who look after this area. That aside, Mr Speaker, because I could not really leave that unsaid, I am sure that the committee will be pleased to take the strategic plan as proposed by the ACT Government and the Department of Urban Services and use it as part of our consideration of our report on our inquiry into contaminated sites.

I think that the Government needs to think about how it is dealing with its committees and to what extent it is going to attempt to lead its committees with issues in the Assembly, or to what extent it is going to assist by providing such documents as this to the committee in a draft form and saying, “We have prepared this strategic plan as a draft. How do you feel about it?”. I understand that the last few paragraphs of Mr Humphries’s speech were very much in that tenor, saying, “We wait to hear from the committee to see what they think about it”; but this strategic plan on contaminated sites management is launched without having “draft” across it. Apart from the Minister's speech, the impression to anybody reading the strategic plan would be that that is the final word on the issue. I think that is entirely inappropriate.

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