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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (14 November) . . Page.. 3634 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

Mr Speaker, the second amendment to the Rates and Land Tax Act does not change the rating factors; it only changes how properties are categorised. For example, there are about 12 commercial properties outside the city area that pay the rural rate but are subject to land tax. This bill will ensure that these commercial properties will be rated at the commercial rate, to be consistent with all other commercial properties within the city area. In some cases the impact will be an increase in the rates liability for these properties. However, the valuations of these properties will be a reflection of their remote location, resulting in a lower rates liability than similar property not so remotely located. The government may alleviate the additional burden on these affected property owners by a partial remission of the rate charge on a case by case basis. It is estimated that the second amendment to the Rates and Land Tax Act will provide an additional $7,000 in revenue per annum.

Mr Speaker, I commend the Revenue Legislation Bill 2002 (No 2) to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne ) adjourned to the next sitting.

National Environment Protection Council Amendment Bill 2002

Mr Wood, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services) (12.22): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I bring to the Assembly today a bill to amend the National Environment Protection Council Act 1994 that will mirror amendments to be enacted by the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions. The effect of these amendments is to provide a simplified process for making minor variations to national environment protection measures, to require five-yearly reviews of the act, and to allow the National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation to provide support and assistance to other ministerial councils.

When the National Environment Protection Council Act 1994 was enacted by the Commonwealth, and then by each state and territory, it was an important landmark in the history of environment protection in Australia. I expect I was the minister at the time who introduced it. It marked the commitment of all jurisdictions to work cooperatively to develop national environment protection standards or "national environment protection measures", as they are called in the act. Each of the states and territories introduced mirror legislation to ensure a seamless legal jurisdiction for making national environment protection measures.

In 2000-01 the Commonwealth, state and territory acts were reviewed, as required. In responding to the review, the National Environment Protection Council concluded that it has made significant progress on matters of national priority in environment protection and noted that the five national environment protection measures in place at the time were making a real contribution to providing equivalent protection from pollution for all Australians.

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