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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (4 June) . . Page.. 1883 ..

MRS CROSS (5.53): The opposition opposes this clause. As I have already indicated, the opposition does not support giving the government of the day the capacity to interfere in the day-to-day duties of the Director of Territory Records. We believe that the arms-length processes proposed by this legislation should remain untainted and tamper proof, and I ask members to oppose the clause.

MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for the Arts) (5.53): Mr Speaker, there is no intention to interfere with the day-to-day activities of the director. Everyone is under someone else's supervision, somewhere, and this clause simply establishes the link between the director, through the minister, and this Assembly. I indicated before that this is especially important if the director is independent, and appointed from outside. I think this is a useful and necessary part of this bill.

MS TUCKER (5.54): We will not be opposing this clause. While the position of director is important for setting standards and maintaining professional records management systems within the public service, I think the buck still has to stop with the minister. If this provision was not there, then the director would be able to act autonomously of government, but without accountability to the Assembly.

It would be a more accountable process if the minister was able to influence the work of the director, but through a transparent mechanism, as proposed in the bill. Any directions will have to be in writing and tabled in the Assembly. This is much better than informal requests being made by the minister that are not recorded. The aim of the bill is to avoid this sort of behaviour. It is fairly common in legislation for ministers to be able to give formal directions to statutory office holders, so I do not think this provision is unusual. I would, however, expect that these directions will be few and far between.

Clause 39 agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Assembly business

Motion (by Mr Wood , by leave) agreed to:

That Notice No 1, Assembly business, be brought on forthwith.

Territory Plan-variation No 158

MRS DUNNE (5.56): Pursuant to notice, I move:

That this Assembly, in accordance with Section 29 (3) of the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991, rejects

(a) the inclusion of Blocks 2, 5 & 6 of Section 72 in the precinct 'c' of the Calwell Group Centre; and

(b) the inclusion of Section 53 in the precinct 'a' of the Kippax Group Centre;

in the variation to the Territory Plan Number 158 tabled on 9 April 2002.

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