Page 3575 - Week 11 - Thursday, 22 September 2005

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management. In its report No 14 of 16 August this year, the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment made three recommendations on this variation. The committee’s first recommendation was that burials in the existing cemetery cease as soon as possible and that new land be made available. This recommendation is supported by the government. I am advised that Environment ACT is currently involved in discussions with the ACT Public Cemeteries Board to achieve this.

The second recommendation was that Environment ACT consider planting local woodland species such as yellow box and red gum, as well as understorey grassy woodland species, in the extended cemetery on blocks 310 and 312 to create a consistent landscape setting. Both Environment ACT and the government support this recommendation. Work has already commenced on advanced tree planting by the Parks and Conservation Service in conjunction with the cemeteries board.

The committee’s final recommendation was that the planning system reform project consider the need for a consistent approach to sustainability principles in rural villages across the ACT in the revised territory plan. The Hall variation does not propose to increase the intensity or area of residential land, but rather seeks to protect the existing character of the village.

The sustainability principles for Stromlo settlement and Uriarra rural village relate primarily to the rebuilding of those villages. In the case of Hall, development is already complete and such principles could only apply to redevelopment. Based on this approach, the committee’s recommendation will be considered in the context of the planning system reform project. This variation is a great outcome for the village of Hall because it gives certainty for the protection of its unique rural setting. I am pleased to table the variation and I commend it to members.

Community safety

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Dunne, Dr Foskey, Ms Porter and Mr Pratt proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mr Pratt be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The management of community safety under the current ACT government.

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (3.56): I rise on this matter of public importance because of a deep concern about what we see as the government’s generally poor management and handling of a range of emergency management issues. Over the last few years of local government we have seen a gradual gravitation towards human rights that has occurred at growing expense to the delivery of essential services and good governance of the ACT.

An increasing number of Canberrans grow worried by this human rights obsession at the expense of human safety and, more broadly, the neglect to ensure that local government delivers fundamental services, protects the community and faithfully defends the national interest. Indeed, we saw reported in the Canberra Times only yesterday that Mr Stanhope’s Human Rights Act may now mean that the range of counter-terrorist

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