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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3852 ..

MR CORBELL (9.08): The Labor Party will not be supporting this amendment. We believe it is unnecessary. To count the period of time from gazettal is, we believe, the most appropriate approach. The difference between the time that a notice appears in the Gazette and the time that a notice appears in the daily newspaper is relatively minor and does not significantly impact on the capacity of people to respond or to make comments in relation to the notification.

Proposed new clauses 7C to 7F negatived.

Proposed new clause 7I.

MS TUCKER (9.09 ): I move amendment No 8 circulated in my name, which inserts a new clause 7I [see schedule 8 at page 3914].

This amendment inserts new sections in the part of the act dealing with environmental protection agreements. At present the authority can enter into an environmental protection agreement with a person conducting an activity that could cause environmental harm without undertaking any form of public consultation over the agreement.

I think this was a major oversight when the act was first drafted, because the act already includes public consultation over environmental authorisations, which are similar to agreements. The new sections therefore set out a formal process of public consultation over a proposed environmental agreement.

This process mirrors public consultation processes already in the act for environmental protection policies, which appear in section 25, and environmental authorisations, which appear in section 48.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (9.10): The government will oppose this amendment. The substitution establishes a consultation process similar to that required for EPPs. We think this is further wasteful and meaningless consultation, similar to that which we are trying to eliminate with the amendments to section 41 and section 50. It is sufficient that such agreements being made be notified. In any event, it is difficult to see the role of consultation with third parties in the process of making these agreements, which are between the EPA and the person concerned.

MR CORBELL (9.11): The Labor Party will not be supporting this amendment. Ms Tucker proposes a process of consultation in relation to the preparation of environmental protection agreements. The issue here and in a number of amendments Ms Tucker has proposed relates to oversight versus involvement in the preparation of these agreements. The Labor Party believes it is absolutely appropriate to protect the public interest in relation to environmental agreements and authorisations and that there is the capacity for members of the public to oversight decisions taken by the Environment Protection Authority.

Ms Tucker is proposing to go one step further and not just to provide for oversight but also to require third parties to be involved in the process of determining agreements between the Environment Protection Authority and the relevant industry which may be

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