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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 14 February 2008) . . Page.. 247 ..

have eight-year-olds and nine-year-olds talking openly about an event that I certainly did not understand until much later in my life, and understanding that it was wrong and in a way not understanding how a policy like that could have ever been seen to be right, I think shows the maturity of our country and the fact that future generations would not walk down the path that previous generations have. That is a sign of the recovery journey that this country has kicked off.

It was a remarkable day yesterday to see the outpouring of emotion not just from Indigenous people but from many non-Indigenous people who had been waiting for years for an event like this to occur. The thing that also struck me yesterday was how easy it was to say sorry and how an event that had been long wished for and desired went so smoothly and so easily, and I imagine that for many people it will play such an important part in their recovery.

The Prime Minister led the nation on a very proud day yesterday and everyone I have spoken to was right behind him. Even for those people who have not understood the depth of despair and the dislocation that was caused by the stolen generation, yesterday brought it to the forefront for every single Australian and that in itself is an important step on the journey to recovery.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Planning and Development Legislation Amendment Bill 2008

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations) (12.04): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The planning system reform project announced by this government is near completion. After extensive consultation with industry and community stakeholders, the Planning and Development Act was passed in August 2007. A draft restructured territory plan has been approved by government for consideration by the Assembly and I will be tabling the associated regulations next month.

The amendment bill before us is chiefly about putting in place relatively recent developments and government policies in the area of housing affordability and compliance. The amendments are also to ensure procedures for public consultation on minor plan variations and minor development proposals are practical and effective. Some amendments are also to ensure clarity and consistency of language.

Since the release of the government’s affordable housing action plan in April of last year, the government has moved quickly in a number of areas to implement the 63 recommendations in the plan. For example, the government has already increased

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