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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3345 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

not be publicly notified, then we will act to disallow that instrument in this place. Equally, we signal our intention that if we find that it is being abused we will remove these provisions from the act.

On the basis of the experience to date that very few of the hundreds of authorisations and agreements that have been publicly notified at considerable expense have been accessed, we think the government's proposal is a reasonable one, albeit one subject to an ongoing review and a watchdog role by this place.

Other changes proposed by the government in this legislation relate to greater powers for inspectors to take video evidence of a potentially environmentally damaging activity when it occurs. At the moment inspectors are unable to use video to record evidence of environmentally damaging activities. They have to obtain a warrant before taking video evidence.

This obviously hinders the ability of the Environment Management Authority to do its job. That environmentally damaging activity in the form of discharge from a pipe or a drain or the dumping of material often happens for only a brief period of time, so you need to capture the evidence at the time the incident occurs rather than seeking a warrant and then going back, hoping that the evidence will still be there.

This is an appropriate measure, one which I do not believe would be abused. It can be used only in circumstances where the authorised officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the environmental damage would be hidden by the time a warrant was obtained. We will be supporting that change.

The final change outlined by the minister in his tabling speech is that commercial sterilisation of clinical waste will require environmental authorisation. This is to take account of the new sterilisation procedures being set up at the Totalcare incinerator and the operation of an electrothermal deactivation device for clinical waste. Obviously that process needs to be covered by an environmental authorisation, and the Labor Party will be supporting that inclusion in the legislation today.

Debate (on motion by Ms Tucker ) adjourned to a later hour.

Cemeteries and Crematoria Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 8 March 2001, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HARGREAVES (11.55): This bill allows for cemeteries to be run by the private sector. The explanatory memorandum says in black and white that the government accepted three major recommendations of the NCP review. It accepted the removal of the legislative restriction which limits the right to ownership and operation of all ACT cemeteries to the Canberra Public Cemeteries Trust, allowing for the possibility of privately run cemeteries.

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