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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2203 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Regarding water, I am concerned about the misleading statements in the budget that the new water abstraction charge "will fund environmental initiatives in year one and will contribute to the management of water resources and environmental management in subsequent years". There is a clear implication there that this charge will fund initiatives, but we were told that the money received from the charge will be just going into Consolidated Revenue and that there will be no real change in the expenditure on water catchment management this year. I do hope that the Government will take up the committee's recommendation that the Commissioner for the Environment undertake an inquiry into the adequacy of management of the Territory's water catchment, rather than just agreeing to it in principle and quietly dropping the idea later.

We support in principle the pollutant loading fees proposed in the budget, but we want to see the detail. I am concerned that we are just applying the New South Wales pollutant loading scheme in full without looking at the specific circumstances of the ACT. It appears that the main organisations to be charged will be Totalcare and ACTEW. The Government will just end up taxing itself. I look forward to seeing the full details of this scheme.

On PALM, I am concerned with the Government's response to the committee's recommendation that the Minister for Urban Services table guidelines on when it is considered appropriate to use the call-in powers to assess development applications. The Government's response was to agree in part to the recommendation, but I cannot see anything in the response that indicates that they are actually going to do something to implement this recommendation. Their main response was that the call-in process is open and accountable. It may be open in the sense that we get to hear that the Minister has used his call-in power, but it is certainly not accountable as there is no way that the decision to use the call-in power can be challenged. I foreshadow, therefore, that in the next sitting period I will bring forward a private members Bill that makes the call-in power much more accountable.

MR BERRY (7.32): I want to talk about an issue involving Urban Services which is brought to my attention more frequently than most other issues, that is, the state of our roads. Earlier, my colleague Mr Hargreaves raised the matter of the funding of roads, but what troubles me is the danger to road users from the lack of maintenance. You would have to have blinkers on not to notice that there has been a deterioration in the maintenance which is applied to road safety furniture, if I can call it that, and road surfaces - lines, signs and so on.

Two or three weeks ago I had the unfortunate experience of attending an accident quite near my house after a motorbike which I had heard go past my house crashed. As everybody who has ridden a motorbike knows, it is almost impossible to fall off a motorbike without getting hurt. Sure enough, when I trotted down to the scene I saw that this chap had been fairly badly hurt. He was ultimately carted off to hospital with a whole range of injuries which caused him to lose his job and so on.

He was a married chap with a run-of-the-mill family and had found a part-time job. Subsequently, he has found it difficult to get work. He has had to go through the workers compensation problems. First of all, there was resistance to giving him the workers compensation form and then there was all the paperwork that had to be

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