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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2645 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

things are canvassed among members - and yet we have no legitimate device available to truncate that period of 15 days. So I urge members to support a substantive change from 15 days to six days.

Amendments negatived.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.


Debate resumed from 26 August 1999, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CORBELL (5.03): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Labor Party will be supporting this Bill. This Bill has been through an extensive process of examination and consultation. It commenced on 25 June last year when the Minister released the exposure draft of the Environment Protection (Amendment) Bill and the associated explanatory memorandum. Subsequent to that, the Standing Committee on Urban Services received a referral from the Assembly to examine the Bill and it was referred to the standing committee for inquiry and report in September last year. There was an extensive examination. As a member of the committee, although it was some time ago now, there was a thorough and close look at the proposals relating to this Bill.

Primarily, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Bill provides for the management of contaminated land and its remediation. It will allow for the development of a contaminated sites register and an environment protection policy under the Environment Protection Act. Specifically, the Bill will enable the Environment Management Authority to investigate potentially contaminated land and establish a process for its assessment and remediation. Independent auditors will be able to assess all work associated with the contaminated site.

The Bill will also allow for the recovery of costs of assessment and remediation, in most cases from the polluter; but if this person or persons or organisation cannot be found or cannot meet the costs, then the party who stands to gain most from the remediation of the land will meet the costs. The Bill also relates to national environment protection measures to deal with the movement of controlled waste between States and Territories and the establishment of a national pollutant inventory.

During the standing committee's examination of the Bill, most focus was on the issues to do with remediation of contaminated sites, the use of a contaminated sites register, and so on. I am pleased to say, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, that the Government has responded to most of the issues raised in the standing committee's report in relation to

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