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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 2799 ..

Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, again on the point of order: I think if you have a particular interpretation of what constitutes a matter of a personal nature, it might be a good idea to advise the Assembly of such definition in due course.

MR SPEAKER: I will examine the matter for you, Ms Follett.

Government Response

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning) (3.27): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the Government's response to the 1995 State of the Environment Report, and I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Late last year I had pleasure in tabling the 1995 ACT State of the Environment Report prepared by the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Joe Baker. Dr Baker is currently required by the Commissioner for the Environment Act 1993 to prepare a state of the environment report each year. That is a matter I hope members of the Assembly will return to very soon. The Government has now considered the commissioner's recommendations and prepared a response. The response adds weight to the Government's commitment to ensure high-quality environmental management that is cost effective, protects our natural resources and our natural heritage, and continues to provide a clean and healthy environment in which to live. It also reflects the importance placed by the Government on identifying firm environmental objectives and creating an appropriate and integrated legislative framework to achieve them.

The National Capital Beyond 2000 plan, which has been designed to set out principles and broad policies to guide change in the ACT, will reflect these agreed environmental objectives. The plan will act as a whole-of-government overarching statement beneath which individual sector strategies can be developed and implemented. It is a far more effective approach than that of the previous Government. It had an affection for overarching statements that compartmentalised the various facets of government. The much heralded environment strategy, for example, acknowledged but made no attempt to integrate environmental issues with economic and regional development considerations.

The goals described in this Government's National Capital Beyond 2000 plan will be supported by integrated environment protection legislation. Development of that legislation is a priority for the Government, and I will be introducing a Bill to that effect in the current sittings. The integrated legislation will reform environmental management in the Territory and provide a much greater focus on the achievement of quality environmental outcomes. It will reduce red tape by encouraging industry to develop their

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