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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3649 ..

In some cases the most efficient and cost effective management practice used to reduce bushfire fuels is a controlled burn. However, the smoke produced can result in undesirable impacts on the community. Through the application of proven management practices and appropriate public notification, this impact can be minimised, although some smoke impact is inevitable.

The Bill improves the community notification requirements that already exist within the Bushfire Act 1936 by requiring at least 24 hours notice of an intention to burn to be published in a newspaper circulated within the ACT.

Also resulting from the Task Force was a recommendation to include a means of allowing burning for ecological purposes. At present the Air Pollution Act 1984 allows burning of plant matter for hazard reduction and training purposes only.

With improved understanding of our natural environment and its relationship to fire, circumstances exist were fire may be an essential requirement for habitat or species management.

The Air Pollution (Amendment) Bill proposes minor legislative amendments to allow for burning of plant matter to conserve biological diversity or ecological integrity.

In summary these Bills provide processes for bushfire fuel management planning and identify managers who are accountable for ensuring that adequate measures are taken to reduce the hazard and potential impact of bushfires on the ACT community.

I commend the Bushfire (Amendment) Bill to the Assembly.

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