Page 4715 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 13 December 2005

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The Committee recommends that the ACT Government continue to investigate better methods for disclosing and accounting for the value of underdeveloped ACT land.

Mr Seselja asked the committee to recommend that the LDA consider appointing in-house legal counsel. The committee agreed to this. Importantly, recommendation 7 states:

The Committee recommends that the Minister for Urban Services further investigate measures to reduce the tonnage of, and to collect data about the amount of undifferentiated builders’ waste being deposited as landfill at the Pialligo waste management facility.

As I have already mentioned, the committee took these changes on board and agreed to the report being adopted and made available for tabling. It was then that Mr Seselja expressed the fact that he would not agree to the report being adopted and that he would be dissenting from it. I am not saying all of Mr Seselja’s recommendations are bad, but I would like to say that the majority of the committee have been trying to work together in a bipartisan approach. There were, however, a number of recommendations that I am sure, had Mr Seselja been here this morning, he would be drawing to our attention. The committee could not agree on those comments.

In recommendation 9, the committee states that the ACT Office for Women should increase public awareness about the women’s register. We also recommend that, when ACT government agencies invite organisations to nominate persons to committees, they also advise that the ACT government has a policy of increasing the number of women in leadership and decision-making positions for gender balance, if that has not already been done. I see no problem with this recommendation; it helps achieve gender equality. If we do not target minority groups, how can we have equality? Some of the other recommendations of the committee on which we were not in complete agreement were with regard to recommendation 5, where the committee recommends that:

… in consultation with Arts, Heritage and Environment and non-government conservation organisations, the Department of Urban Services place an agreed number of trunks of mature felled trees in open woodland and forested areas of Canberra Nature Park for wildlife habitat.

The last recommendation made by the committee is, of course, the one that commends the ACT government for its policy of not encouraging the use of AWAs in the ACT public service. All members of the opposition would have an issue with this recommendation, as their federal colleagues have made it impossible to be employed in the commonwealth public service without signing an AWA. As committee chair, I would like to thank all those involved in the consultation process—in particular, the committee office and the secretary, Hanna Jaireth.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to a later hour this day.

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