Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3687 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

processes. The quantum of such compensation and claimable items should be discussed with one of the more formal groups, such as the Disability Advisory Council, then adapted to cover other community sector organisations.

ACTCOSS also drew attention to the needs of consumer representative groups that play a role somewhat similar to the role that unions play when participating in reviews. Recommendation 19 states:

That the ACT Government substantially increase funding to consumer-based representative organisations with a view to obtaining high quality, direct input into Government policy from the wide range of groups representing people living with disadvantage.

Generally, law reform work is not being done in a co-ordinated way with an input at all stages from informed people in the community sector. The Law Reform Commission, which is apparently underresourced, does not have the broad range of community expertise involved that it had in its early days as the Community Law Reform Committee. Some of the basic premises of consultation and relations between community sector and government, such as early input and an opportunity to see and comment on what the government has developed as a result, are not always occurring. I support the recommendation of the Select Committee on Estimates that the government approach community organisations, assess their needs and provide them with support to enable them to participate in government reviews.

I refer briefly to the Majura Valley land purchase. The details of that purchase are not immediately clear until one turns to the transcript of the estimates committee. The $1.059 million valuation is the valuation that was obtained by the ACT Government on the land currently owned by the Commonwealth defence department that is adjacent to the airport. Some areas in the Majura Valley and some areas adjacent to the airport, which are natural temperate grasslands, are home to an endangered ecological community. Parts of that area have been identified as grasslands-the habitat of the endangered earless dragon. Some limits must be placed on the use of the grasslands located around the airport, which are currently zoned as broad acre.

The use to which that area can be put and the design constraints on a corrections facility-for example, entirely separate facilities for women-must be carefully thought through in combination with best practice design requirements. I am aware of the government's interest in using some of that land for a prison. However, what is not clear is the use to which the rest of that land might be put. It would be a good thing to have that land under territory control, if only for the sake of planning development-something in which the airport apparently has no interest and for which it has no respect.

I refer now to fire-related appropriations. The committee expressed some concern about the lack of a strategic framework and follow-up action in response to McLeod's recommendations. Even though the next fire season is approaching there is an inherent danger in rushing in. All members would be aware of last year's serious bushfires. If things are not done well there are longer-term consequences for the landscape, for people's sense of wellbeing and trust in the landscape, and for the capacity of fire brigades. If we want to ensure that things are done well we must not rush in without obtaining a good overview. It is disturbing that McLeod's recommendations, which

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .