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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3750 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

I thank staff who have had a long carriage of this - Christine, Karen, John, all the others from that section of PALM. I would compliment all officers in Environment ACT who have also worked to make sure that the land management agreements have been put together. I thank you for your work and dedication in what proved to be a much harder task than anybody expected.

Mr Speaker, I will finish by thanking the Assembly for what I guess is in-principle support for this package. We will have a tussle now over some amendments. But I look forward to protecting the rights of rural lessees and the rights of all Canberrans to their own environment. We now have a package that gives long-term stability to our rural sector - an important employer in the ACT. It offers further opportunities in terms of protection of the environment and in tourism. At the same time it protects the long-term values of the bush capital that all Canberrans want.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail Stage

Clauses 1 to 3, by leave, taken together, and agreed to.

Clause 4

MS TUCKER (4.59): I move:

Page 2, line 1, proposed new definition of land management agreement , omit the definition, substitute the following definition:

"land management agreement means an agreement under section 186C or 186CD, and includes such an agreement as varied.".

At 5.00 pm the debate was interrupted in accordance with standing order 34; the motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MS TUCKER: I will speak to a number of amendments at this point. Amendments 1 and 2 are consequential amendments to definitions due to amendments 4 and 9 of mine, so I will discuss the later amendments, too. Amendment 4 puts into the legislation a provision that the LMAs are for a term of five years and amendment 9 is about establishing a mechanism for the renegotiation of LMAs when they expire. It concerns me that, under the Government's proposal, once an LMA is approved it stays in place indefinitely.

Whilst the LMA pro forma states that the agreement will be reviewed at least every five years, it also states that if existing management practices are retained and there is no adverse impact on the environment over this period no changes to the agreement will be required. There is therefore an obligation on the Government to prove that there has been an adverse impact on the environment to get the LMA amended rather than an obligation

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