Page 1137 - Week 04 - Thursday, 17 March 2005

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response to the discussion paper was supportive of reforming our existing pest regulation and administration regime—in particular, the development of separate pest legislation as well as the prohibition of the sale of pests and pest contaminated material.

The bill proposes to repeal and replace the existing provisions in the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991. The measures required to effectively address pest issues go significantly beyond what is currently provided for in the land act. This separate legislation is proposed as it strengthens the basis for management measures for pest plants and animals.

The bill establishes a system for declarations of pest plants and pest animals that are based on their threat to agriculture, the environment and the community. It provides for the development of management plans setting out how the threat will be managed and includes enhanced enforcement provisions for issuing directions to landholders to eradicate or control pest plants or pest animals.

A key element of the bill is prohibiting the supply of certain declared pest plants or pest animals, or material contaminated with these. This provision builds on the existing bush friendly nursery scheme whereby nurseries have voluntarily agreed not to supply pest plants and have been recommending non-invasive alternatives to their customers. Consumers should not be disadvantaged by this provision as there is a wide variety of other plants available and a pest plant may have detrimental impacts on their own property. Community awareness campaigns on pest plants to guide consumers will continue to occur.

The proposed legislation will provide enhanced support for the implementation of the ACT weeds strategy and the ACT vertebrate pest management strategy. The issues associated with pest plants and animals in the ACT are experienced nationally, although the species of concern may vary. The Australian Weeds Committee has developed nationally agreed legislative principles to ensure a coordinated approach to reducing the spread of weeds across borders. The proposed legislation incorporates these principles, both directly and indirectly. The government will continue to seek the assistance of all land managers in the ACT, both public and private, as well as our regional neighbours for the management of pests in the ACT.

This bill represents a more comprehensive and targeted approach to regulating pest plants and animals in the ACT. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Dr Foskey) adjourned to the next sitting.

Insurance Authority Bill 2005

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (10.56): I move:

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