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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1123 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Residents will be able to apply to the conservator for approval to remove protected trees. Before deciding whether to approve an application the conservator will seek the advice of an adviser appointed by me who has extensive experience in arboriculture. I will be seeking the cooperation of the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Services to have this appointment considered as soon as possible. The conservator's decision will also be guided by formal criteria for the approval of a tree damaging activity which will be established by a disallowable instrument. If the conservator is satisfied, after considering the adviser's report, that the tree removal applied for meets the criteria for approval of the activity, he will then approve the application.

More comprehensive legislation to establish a significant tree register and provide long-term protection to significant trees is also being introduced into the Assembly today. When passed, this interim legislation will be repealed. There is clearly a need to provide interim protection to trees pending the establishment of a significant tree register. This bill gives this protection without unduly infringing on the rights of residents to manage trees on their own land. As I intend to release the draft significant tree register for public consultation early in April, it is appropriate that this bill be debated today. I commend the bill to the Assembly. I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Suspension of standing and temporary orders

Motion (by Mr Smyth ) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent the resumption of debate on this bill being made an order of the day for a later hour this day.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell ) adjourned to a later hour.

Tree Protection Bill 2001

Mr Smyth, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.41): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I seek leave to have my presentation speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows:

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