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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (20 May) . . Page.. 380 ..

MR WOOD (11.54): I seek leave to move the amendment that has been circulated in my name.

Leave granted.

MR WOOD: I move:

Paragraph (4), omit all words after "arrange", substitute "for the ACT Heritage Council to consider and report on the heritage issues involved".

I have spoken generally to this amendment, so I will not add a great deal. I will make this point. I acknowledge that, when regimes change - the point Mr Moore made - symbols change. We have plenty of images in our minds from television coverage of the old hammer and sickle coming down and new images going up. I do not argue with the point of view that it is quite appropriate to change symbols. That can happen.

Members may recall that, last year, in one of the last debates, I said that in the next Assembly, if I were here - and here I am - I would like to look at the coat of arms of the city of Canberra which is now outside the public entrance of this building. I would like to see us revisit that and determine whether that is an appropriate coat of arms for this generation or whether we should move to an ACT coat of arms, because this is, after all, the ACT. So, these are issues; but they are issues for another day. I seek the support of members for my amendment.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (11.55): Mr Speaker, I just want to say simply that I do not support this amendment. First of all, the Heritage Council is already commissioned to do that work, and it is going to do so in the course of the next 12 months. Mr Speaker, I do have a little bit of concern about the idea of the Assembly purporting to hijack - we have done this on a number of occasions in the past and I have expressed my concern about it on a number of occasions in the past - the work program of particular statutory authorities, whose work program and whose authority to do that work derive from legislation, not from motions on the floor of the Assembly.

Mr Wood: We can refer anything to them at any time.

MR HUMPHRIES: We can refer such matters; but it already has that matter in its program. The Government has already commissioned a consultancy into the heritage status of the fabric of the Supreme Court building. That is being done. It has given certain indications of how it values the fabric of the building, including the coat of arms. Mr Smyth made reference to that, I think, in his remarks. The Heritage Council is already proposing to consider this matter in the course of the next 12 months, in line with the timetable to examine any upgrade of the Supreme Court building.

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