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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1946 ..



Mr Speaker

The Environment Protection (Amendment) Bill 1999 deals with several significant matters for the protection of the environment. These matters are first, regulation of contaminated sites and secondly the implementation of two National Environment Protection Measures -one covering the Movement of Controlled Waste between States and Territories and the other establishing National Pollutant Inventory. The Bill also introduces some minor amendments of a technical nature to the Environment Protection Act 1997 arising from the first six months' operation of the Act, which commenced on 1 June 1998.

I have already tabled the Government's response to the Urban Services Committee's Report No 10 on the inquiry into the Exposure Draft of the Environment Protection (Amendment) Bill 1998. The Environment Protection (Amendment) Bill 1999 covers all the contaminated sites matters that were included in the Exposure Draft Environment Protection (Amendment) Bill 1998, modified as set out in the Government's response to the recommendations of this report. As modified this Bill delivers a robust scheme for the management of contaminated land in the ACT.

I should explain the context in which the Bill includes provisions dealing with specific National Environment Protection Measures. National Environment Protection Measures are made under the National Environment Protection Council Act 1994 and are a form of subordinate legislation. In other words, they already have the force of law. However, "NEPMs" as they are known only take effect as legal standards and sometimes need supporting legislation dealing with regulatory processes. In this case for example, the NEPM creating the National Pollutant Inventory needs a supporting offence provision to require certain business to disclose their emissions of pollutants and the NEPM on the Movement of Controlled Waste between States and Territories needs provisions requiring producers of controlled waste:

to obtain consignment authority prior to dispatching controlled waste to another State or Territory;

to provide information specific to a load of controlled waste to the transporter;

and also setting out recordkeeping and notification requirements.

Further details of these provisions are included in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill.

In summary, this Bill will enhance the Government's ability to ensure the appropriate management of the ACT's environment. It will also enable the Territory to meet its national environmental obligations.

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