Page 1859 - Week 06 - Thursday, 5 May 2005

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comments on several occasions and have, on two separate occasions, not agreed to those comments.

The minister, in our view, has not presumed any inherent problem in answering questions. In fact, it is the view of the committee that the minister—and he is directly thanked in the report—has provided details and full answers to committee members’ questions. I call on Mr Seselja to work with this committee with a bipartisan approach and to consider the Canberra community and the committee’s responsibilities to our constituents.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Pest Plants and Animals Bill 2005

Referral to Standing Committee on Planning and Environment

Debate resumed from 3 May 2005, on motion by Mrs Dunne:

That the bill be referred to the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.59): This is, as we have said, a very important piece of legislation. In the debate the other day the Chief Minister said, “Look, the World Wildlife Fund has had second thoughts, essentially, and has signed off on this report now.” I asked the Chief Minister for some confirmation of that. This morning I received a record of a telephone conversation, presumably written after I asked for this the other day, between staff of Environment ACT and the biodiversity policy manager of the World Wildlife Fund, Mr Andreas Glanznig.

While the record of conversation I was provided with does reinforce the Chief Minister’s position that the World Wildlife Fund is essentially happy with the bill as it stands, I would like to share with members what the World Wildlife Fund said to me. For the most part they confirm what is in this record of conversation that was prepared on Tuesday, but it goes further than this record of conversation. It says:

The email confirms the WWF position in relation to the ACT Pest Plants and Animals Bill 2005. WWF strongly supports the intention and substance of the bill—

which we all do—

and notes that it addresses a major strategic weakness of the previous Act, namely it now enables the supply to be prohibited.

WWF believes, as set out in our “Making State Weed Laws Work” paper that all eastern seaboard jurisdictions develop a cooperative proportionary and preventative approach based on a permitted list system as part of deliberations to develop the revised National Weed Strategy.

It says that this has to be a cooperative approach between South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, ACT and Queensland. It continues on to say that it does not make sense for the ACT to go alone on this matter. It says that the WWF believes that the bill can be strengthened to make explicit the need for pest management to shift to a more preventative approach, and to enshrine the mutual obligation principle to that of the ACT

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