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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2771 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

As I have mentioned, two new disallowable instruments have been prepared which complement this Bill and deal with other aspects of the rural policy package. I will table these instruments once this Bill and the Lands Acquisition Amendment Bill have been debated and passed by the Assembly. This is a logical order for the Assembly to deal with the many elements of this complex package, as the contents of the disallowable instruments are reliant on the passage of the two amendment Bills.

For the information of lessees and the community, a guide to this rural policy package, called "Farming in the ACT", has been drafted. The content of the document can be finalised once the Assembly has dealt with the amending Bills and disallowable instruments. I will be happy to provide copies of the guide to members when it is finalised.

The Government has produced a comprehensive rural policy package which provides rural lessees with a blueprint for the future of rural leasing and land management in the ACT. The Government's rural policy provides an appropriate balance between many competing issues, and this amending Bill contains the critical elements required to enable rural lessees to plan for and implement sustainable management strategies for their leases.

Mr Speaker, it would be remiss of me on this occasion not to acknowledge the vast amount of cooperation the Government has had from groups such as the rural lessees and others. The president of the Rural Lessees Association, Mr Harold Adams, is with us today. I am very grateful for the support that Harold and the lessees have lent. We have agreed on many things; we have disagreed on some. It has been worked through very reasonably. The other people I would like to congratulate are the staff in Planning and Land Management, who have laboured over this for some two years. What at first seemed to be perhaps a simple implementation turned into a very serious drafting exercise. I congratulate the staff in PALM who have been working on this Bill and the rural lease issue on their perseverance and the high standard of work that they have put in.

There will be a need for amendments to this package. I will circulate those to members as soon as they are drafted. Some other issues have been raised with us recently that the Government will consider. Members may have amendments themselves.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell ) adjourned.


MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.00): Mr Speaker, I present the Lands Acquisition Amendment Bill 1999, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR SMYTH: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

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