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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 15 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

out a range of mechanisms for the registration of surveyors, the conduct of surveyors and disciplinary measures, and other related mechanisms in relation to the surveying profession.

Following the review, a range of options was presented to the government in relation to the future operation of the Surveyors Act, the office of the Chief Surveyor, and the Surveyors Board. Options considered in the range of comments provided by the national competition policy review were the removal of the capacity for having some sorts of disciplinary measures and the appropriateness of having a registration mechanism for surveyors in the territory.

I am pleased that the government did not choose to undertake the reform proposed by the national competition policy review and instead adopted what I would have to say is a more moderate approach to the review of the operation of the Surveyors Act. As a result, we have before us the Surveyors Bill 2000 and the Surveyors (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2000.

The Surveyors Bill removes the office of Chief Surveyor and replaces it with a Commissioner for Surveys. The commissioner will be a statutory officer. The bill retains provision for the registration of surveyors, retains disciplinary measures for surveyors, and gives the minister certain powers in relation to direction of the commissioner.

From my discussions with representatives of the surveying industry, there is general acceptance of this bill. Whilst there may be some remnant of concern that we will no longer have an office of Chief Surveyor, it is clear to me that overall the bill will not have any clearly detrimental impact on the operation of the surveying profession in the territory and, as such, the Labor Party will be supporting the legislation this morning.

MR RUGENDYKE (11.29): Mr Speaker, I too will be supporting this legislation as presented. The concerns I do have revolve around the deregulation of the registration of surveyors, if that is to be the case. I will monitor the situation and if it were seen to be the case in the future that surveyors of insufficient qualification were somehow surveying in this territory, I would be prepared to bring back amendments and revisit that. I see that as a major downfall of the legislation, if there is to be one. On balance, I think it is necessary to support this legislation, bearing in mind that concern.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.30), in reply: Mr Speaker, I thank members for their support for the two bills before them, which are taking a sensible step forward. We believe that we need to ensure that the cadastre is protected at all times. It is the basis of all land management for the ACT and it is important that we get it right.

I think that Mr Corbell's summary of the intent of the bills was accurate. When we go into these reviews it is important that we take into account how they affect individuals and that protection is there for the rights of individuals. That is included in these bills and I thank the Assembly for its support of these bills.

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