Page 4293 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 November 2005

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However, I take the point made by the government and apologise to the government for the fact that these amendments have come forward at almost no notice. Mr Speaker, I apologise to you, too, if you have not got a running sheet on these amendments. I would say to the government that I would like to look at how things go through this bushfire season. I would be keen to come back perhaps at the end of the season with an amendment bill encompassing these amendments. I would discuss it with the minister in good time and in good faith before that event occurred.

I thank Dr Foskey for her expression of interest in and support for these amendments. Yes, they are sensible amendments and I think the bill generally is quite sensible. I have taken on board her recommendation that I speak to her and the minister in good time, and I will do so. I must say that we did initiate consultation with Mr Hargreaves’s office; we did go to them to talk about some aspects of the bill. It is also true that we did not bring the back end of these amendments to him for discussion. Minister, I apologise that we did not bring all of my amendments to you, although we did talk to you about a number of aspects of the bill.

I will bring these proposals back as an amendment bill in due course and I will be speaking to the minister and Dr Foskey in good time about why I think these amendments are important and explain the rationale for them. I stress again in closing that these amendments will add teeth to an act which, while it is getting better as it grows, still needs a lot more authority in it and a lot more clarity in terms of the responsibilities and obligations of land managers. At this point, Mr Speaker, I will leave it at that and I will revisit this subject at another time.

Amendments negatived.

Bill, as a whole, agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Domestic Animals (Cat Containment) Amendment Bill 2005

Debate resumed from 30 June 2005, on motion by Mr Hargreaves:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (12.09): Mr Speaker, the opposition has been looking closely at the government’s proposed cat containment legislation and has a number of concerns. The microchipping of domestic cats is not going to prevent all of the problems associated with domestic and straying cats, nor will it prevent people from disobeying cat curfews. The amount of administration, policing and law enforcement involved in managing the proposed legislation will make that all very cumbersome and pretty much impossible to regulate.

The opposition sees a number of areas as problematic. One is the added burden to cat owners and sellers of the cost of compulsory microchipping. Policing or enforcing of this legislation will be an extra cost to government and the government can barely enforce the current legislation in relation to cats and dogs anyway. For example, it is illegal for

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