Page 567 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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I am also disappointed that, although other members of the committee have gone to enormous lengths to accommodate Mr Seselja on every occasion and met on additional days in order to consider these matters and work in a collegiate fashion to get the best outcome for the people of Canberra, Mr Seselja continues to present objections to matters we thought we had already agreed to. This government has been criticised in this place regarding so-called delays. For delays to be caused by a member of a committee is very disappointing. I support the noting of this report.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The time for Assembly business has expired.

Personal explanations

MR SESELJA (Molonglo): Mr Speaker, I have been misrepresented in this place and, under standing order 46, I would like to respond.

MR SPEAKER: Leave is granted for you to make a personal explanation.

MR SESELJA: Ms Porter just raised a number of concerns about me and claimed that I was somehow the cause of delay with the committee report. That is plainly incorrect. The committee actually approved the report in December, very soon after the referral of the matter to the committee, and then I provided dissenting comments, after which time the committee members came back and changed the report in response to my dissenting comments, and then we had to rescind the approval of the report and approve it again, to which I could then dissent again. So Ms Porter’s accusation that somehow I delayed the release of the report is completely false and I object to the misrepresentation by Ms Porter. The accusation is completely false. It is not based in fact in any way, shape or form.

Dangerous Substances (Asbestos) Amendment bill 2005

Debate resumed from 15 February 2005, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (11.56): The opposition supports this bill. When the question of the legal and regulatory regime for dealing with asbestos in buildings was debated in the previous Assembly, I believe in August 2004, my colleague Mr Stefaniak made it quite clear that the opposition supported, with some amendments, the legislation proposed. Since that time an industry task force, chaired by Mr Wood, the former minister whom you, Mr Speaker, acknowledged is in the gallery, has identified several changes to improve the Dangerous Substances Act, the themes of which are reflected in this bill. I am advised that the task force is due to report in August 2005 but in the meantime some suggestions it has made for overcoming concerns raised particularly by industry members of the task force are being implemented.

The bill amends section 47J of the original act to clarify that an owner or occupier of premises is not required to find out if asbestos is present. If asbestos is present, the owner

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