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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 8 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 2564 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

The international Earth Charter secretariat, located in Costa Rica, considered comments from the Australian and other national committees prior to finalising each "benchmark", or major draft, of the Earth Charter. Benchmark III was released in March 2000.

The Earth Charter Commission aims to have the charter tabled in the United Nations General Assembly in 2002, to coincide with the planned 10-year review of the Rio Earth Summit. Since it takes two years for such a document to pass through the United Nation's committee system, the charter has to be passed in to the United Nations this year.

While the charter is not being finalised until 2002, it is hoped that organisations will use the Earth Charter to guide their strategic planning and their day-to-day operations. In addition, an action plan for trialling the Australian youth program for the Earth Charter 2001 in ACT schools has been prepared and agreed to by the Department of Education and Community Services and the ACT Earth Charter Committee. The Earth Charter youth project provides curriculum material and work sheets, based on the principles of the Earth Charter, for use in ACT primary and secondary schools.

By using the primary and secondary schools Earth Charter manuals, students have the opportunity to learn more about this document in all of their subject areas, ranging from English and studies of society and the environment, through to mathematics and the arts.

By accepting the long-term objectives of this international voluntary agreement, the ACT is again cementing its reputation as the clean, green capital. I ask that my colleagues Ms Tucker and Mr Corbell join with me in encouraging the Assembly to accept the long-term objectives of the Earth Charter and embrace its principles in our daily lives.

Debate (on motion by Ms Tucker ) adjourned.


Debate resumed from 25 May 2000, on motion by Mr Moore:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR WOOD (4.16): The opposition will be agreeing with this bill. As soon as we saw the provision there that says that someone may be detained, we looked carefully at it, as did the scrutiny of bills committee. My understanding of the bill is that it allows a person who presents voluntarily to be detained in accordance with all the very strict guidelines that operate. They could be detained in a facility, just as they could be detained outside that facility. That was not the case before. There seems to have been a bit of a error there when the original legislation was drafted. On the basis that it gives all the rights and all the requirements that are already well laid out in legislation, this bill is an appropriate measure and has our support.


(Minister for Health and Community Care) (4.17), in reply: I appreciate the support for this bill. There was an anomaly in the act and we had the situation where persons who voluntarily signed themselves in thereby avoided any possibility that they could be detained, with all the protections that apply to that. Mr Wood, I assure you that

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