Page 2217 - Week 07 - Thursday, 23 June 2005

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This bill is the first in a series of reforms to be announced for the concessional lease system and implemented as an integral part of the broader planning system reform program. This is further evidence of this government’s commitment to the overall improvement of the ACT planning and leasehold system. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.

Emergencies Amendment Bill 2005

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.53): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I present the Emergencies Amendment Bill 2005. It is a bill to effect a range of corrective and clarifying amendments to the Emergencies Act 2004 and, in a number of instances, to make some minor policy changes. The objective of this bill is to enhance the effectiveness of operation of both the act and the Emergency Services Authority it established in July 2004. About this time last year, the Assembly considered and passed the Emergencies Act.

When the act commenced operation on 1 July 2004, the newly formed Emergency Services Authority immediately put in place a team of officers whose job includes overarching ongoing review and reform of the authority’s systems and legislation. At this first milestone for the authority, the end of its first year in operation, there has already been identified a range of significant policy issues that require detailed consideration before legislation is presented for the Assembly’s consideration.

This bill takes the first step along that path of consolidation. There are numerous provisions in the act that have been recast to clarify their meaning and intent. Some of the proposed amendments make minor policy changes but, in the main, the makeup and functions of the authority and its component services are not significantly altered

I would offer the following brief summary of the thrust of the bill’s provisions. Some merely corrective or clarifying amendments or amendments consequential upon other changes contained in this bill are found in the majority of its clauses. I will not describe those amendments in detail at this stage. The rest of the bill proposes some more significant and substantive changes.

Clause 4 amends section 9(4) of the act to expand the range of requirements upon the authority when performing its functions. The new paragraph (4) (k) expresses the role of the authority in strategic and operational planning for emergencies. While the

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