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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3845 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

The second significant change will result in greater protection for the environment by giving authorised inspectors the power to take photographic, audio and video or other recordings as evidence without first having to obtain a warrant. The reason for this is that when damage is occurring it is important to gather evidence immediately. The power would be exercised only where the authorised officer had reasonable grounds for believing that the situation would be remedied by the time a warrant was obtained and where to meet the environmental protection needs such evidence should be obtained immediately. It is a commonsense amendment.

These amendments will make sure that environment protection in the ACT is up to date. I thank members who have indicated that they will be supporting the government's amendments.

Ms Tucker has also put forward a number of amendments that the government will not be agreeing to. We do not believe they add anything to the clarity or the functionality of the bill. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2.

MS TUCKER (8.40): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 8 at page 3914].

This is the technical amendment put forward by parliamentary counsel regarding commencement provisions. The Legislation (Consequential Amendments) Act has made a number of amendments to the Environment Protection Act which have not yet come into effect, and there is a need to ensure that all the amendments are implemented consistently.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (8.40): The advice I have is that this amendment will make very little difference if it gets up. We do not think it adds anything to the value of the bill. We do not believe it should be made.

MR CORBELL (8.41): The Labor Party will be supporting this amendment from Ms Tucker. It does seem to be of relatively slight importance. Nevertheless, we are happy to accept Ms Tucker's view as to the appropriateness of this form of words.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (8.41): I do not think it is appropriate to say what parliamentary counsel do. Parliamentary counsel draft according to instructions given by a member. Using the argument about parliamentary counsel, harmless though it is, is not appropriate.

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