Page 1132 - Week 04 - Thursday, 17 March 2005

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administration of the interim scheme. The community response to the discussion paper and subsequent consultation was strongly supportive of tree protection. However, there was concern at the sometimes onerous and unnecessarily intrusive nature of the current interim scheme.

It is apparent that the broad scale, scattergun approach of the current scheme is not appropriate and impacts unduly upon the activities of the very people that helped create Canberra’s garden city image. However, the interim scheme has been valuable in preventing the unnecessary removal of trees and wholesale block clearing in redevelopment projects and has been a major factor in making architects and developers consider trees in the planning process.

There are many individual trees and groups of trees throughout this city that the community values highly. Some of the old remnant eucalypts, for example, provide an important link to our past. Some trees are valuable for ecological or botanical reasons, or simply for their outstanding contribution to the landscape of the city. Under the bill, these trees would be listed on an ACT tree register and provided with a high level of protection.

Once this legislation is in place, Canberra’s tree owners will notice immediate benefits. Lessees will benefit from the streamlined one-stop-shop approach for development applications involving trees as well as quicker responses to routine requests for approval to remove a tree. Further benefits will be apparent once the transition to the permanent scheme is complete. The government has developed a strategy for this transition involving a comprehensive survey of the city undertaken to identify trees of high importance.

I have run into some difficulty with the rest of my speech, Mr Speaker, so I commend this bill to the Assembly.

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

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2005

Mr Stanhope, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (10.38): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill makes statute law revision amendments to ACT legislation under guidelines for the technical amendments program approved by the government. The bill makes amendments that are minor or technical, and non-controversial. They are generally insufficiently important to justify the presentation of separate legislation in each case and inappropriate to make as editorial amendments in the process of republishing legislation under the Legislation Act 2001.

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