Page 3543 - Week 11 - Thursday, 22 September 2005

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Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Tree Protection Bill 2005

Detail stage

Debate resumed from 20 September 2005.

Clauses 60 and 61, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 62.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs, and Acting Minister for Education and Training) (11.50): I seek leave to move amendments Nos 23 and 24 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: I move amendments Nos 23 and 24 circulated in my name together [see schedule 3 at page 3619]. Many of the amendments that we are still to deal with today, including these amendments, are of the same order as amendments that we previously dealt with and spoke to in the debate on Tuesday of this week. That is the case in relation to amendments 23 and 24. These amendments relate to the way that processes in the bill deal with trees that are included on the tree register due to their Aboriginal cultural significance.

To recap, as we recommence the debate on these matters today: these two amendments will require the conservator to provide the representative Aboriginal organisation with a copy of the declaration restricting information relating to trees of Aboriginal heritage significance. It is important, in the government’s opinion, that the bill provide for information relating to these trees to be treated with some discretion in order to ensure the respect that is due to trees of such cultural sensitivity and other sensitivities that may exist is afforded, to avoid highlighting their location to those in the community who may, regrettably, not respect the cultural significance of the trees, even to the point perhaps of causing them damage.

I might say, in relation to this provision and other provisions, that there has been very considerable consultation by Environment ACT with the government on this provision and other provisions of this particular bill, despite some assertions that have been made to the contrary through the media and certainly by others within this place about the way in which this particular legislation has been developed. For the information of members, in that regard, it is relevant for me to advise that, in relation to this clause and in relation to the bill as a whole and in relation to the discussion paper which preceded it, formal consultation was undertaken with ACT For Trees; the Australian Native Plants Society; the arboriculture industry, sourced from the Yellow Pages and including all of those identified through the Yellow Pages as involved in the arboriculture industry; the broad development industry as such, including, and sourced again through our mailing lists,

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