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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2286 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Two significant changes that will lead to better operational and environmental outcomes are in the bill. The first is in relation to changing the public notification requirements for a certain class of environmental authorisations and agreements. Tens of thousands of dollars are spent each year on the public notification of minor authorisations and agreements. No responses to these public notifications have ever been received. The bill provides for certain classes of environmental protection agreements and environmental authorisations that do not require public notification. These classes would cover only proposed activities that are of a minor nature and with minimal or no impact on the environment. The minister must declare these classes by disallowable instrument, thereby retaining Assembly oversight of the procedure.

The second change will result in greater protection for the environment by giving authorised inspectors the power to take photographic, audio, video or other recordings as evidence without first having to obtain a warrant. This would apply only to a situation where the authorised officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the situation would be remedied by the time the warrant had been obtained and that, to meet environmental protection needs, such evidence should be obtained immediately.

The bill adds the commercial sterilisation of clinical waste to the activities that require environmental authorisation. This requirement arose after the review was undertaken and has been included now to facilitate the administrative procedures needed for Stericorp to operate the electrothermal deactivation process. One final amendment is that a further review of the act will commence as soon as possible after June 2003, to ensure that the legislation continues to be as up-to-date and effective as possible, producing good environmental outcomes for the ACT.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Territory Records 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) (10.38): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, when I launched the ACT archives project issues and options paper in April 1999, I stated that the management of information held by the government is important in a democracy and broad community input is required to ensure that we get the best possible policies and practices for our territory. I am pleased to say that the community has provided that input through the process of the issues and options paper and, more recently, the draft exposure of the Territory Records Bill. Today I have tabled the Territory Records Bill 2001.

This bill recognises the input from the community and proposes a records management regime that is appropriate to the requirements and resources of the ACT. The development of these proposals came from a commitment made by the government at the

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