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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2191 ..

MS HORODNY (continuing):

That is obviously a huge issue and needs to be dealt with very carefully. Obviously, a lot of remediation needs to occur in the ACT in the next few years, and we need to make a very considered decision as to what to do with the amount of soil that will need to be moved and stored. There are also some issues that need to be addressed in regard to the sites where contamination is in between the investigation and health levels. For those people no simple immediate solutions are being offered. They are the people who are currently very much in limbo. Their situation also needs to be addressed urgently. There is no clear strategy in place for them and, in fact, never has been.

I am particularly pleased that recommendation No. 4 was unanimously agreed upon. That is the recommendation on the need for a contaminated sites register. I believe that a contaminated sites register is absolutely essential. Such a register, I believe, should be maintained by a registrar. I have been doing some work on this issue. A register of contaminated sites could list various categories of land such as a possible contaminated site, a probable contaminated site, a confirmed site, a restricted site, a former site and a released site. That is one example of how such a register could work. Obviously, the intent would be that most of that information be made public, with the exception of that on a possible site, because such a site by definition would not have already been tested. I am very pleased that all the recommendations had unanimous agreement, and I commend the report to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries) adjourned.


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General): Mr Speaker, I seek leave under standing order 46 to make a personal explanation.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR HUMPHRIES: In the course of Ms McRae's remarks to the report on which we have just adjourned debate, she suggested that when I made a decision in April this year to withdraw offers to people at Watson I was unaware that negotiations with people in that part of Canberra were in the course of completion. That is quite untrue. I was acutely aware of the context in which negotiations were going on, and I think it is quite wrong to suggest otherwise. I made it perfectly clear to the house at the time what the reasons for that were, and it is unfortunate that Ms McRae has forgotten that that was all clearly put on the table at the time.

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