Page 1604 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 May 2013

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Madam Speaker, I wish to discuss some of the more technical amendments made by this bill. These technical amendments demonstrate the value of the PABLAB process. PABLAB allows the government to make necessary updates and technical amendments to a number of pieces of legislation. The process makes it a lot easier to monitor and resolve planning, building and environmental issues as efficiently as possible.

The purpose of these amendments is not to impose new requirements or administrative burdens. These technical amendments have been made to promote administrative efficiency, update the statute book and clarify existing obligations. While small, they are an important part of the omnibus bill process. Many of these amendments improve cross-referencing between related acts and update statutory language in line with current drafting practice. This can be seen in the amendments to the Districts Act 2002 and Public Place Names Act 1989. These amendments update the cross-referencing between these two acts and clarify the meaning of existing provisions.

For example, clause 17 of the bill amends section 2 of the Public Place Names Act. This section defines a public place. Currently, this section provides that a public place includes an avenue, road, street or place that the public are entitled to use and any unleased land. The bill amends this definition to provide that a public place can also include a geographical feature. This amendment has been made because the current definition does not expressly include geographical features. In some places, the geographical feature may be the most prominent feature or identifier of the place to the public. It should therefore be included in the definition of a public place.

Madam Speaker, these technical amendments also clarify certain statutory obligations. Clause 18 amends section 3(1) of the Public Place Names Act, which referred to the power of the minister to determine names for public places. Section 3 applies to the power of the minister to determine names. Section 3(1) currently states that the minister may determine the name of a division of the territory land. The term “may” in this context suggests that the minister has a discretion rather than an obligation to name divisions.

The bill makes an amendment to provide that the minister must determine the name of a division of territory land and may determine the name of a public place on territory land. This ensures that the minister’s obligation to name a division is clearly spelled out. Clause 19 of the bill results from the fact that the Districts Act and Public Places Names Act both refer to divisions of land in the territory. This clause amends the dictionary of the Public Place Names Act to incorporate the definition of division for the Districts Act. This technical amendment provides appropriate cross-referencing between these two acts and ensures that divisions are appropriately defined in a consistent way.

Clause 11 of the bill is another amendment that clarifies existing obligations. This clause makes a technical amendment to section 69 of the Planning and Development Act which applies to draft territory plan variations and reporting to the minister. Section 69(2)(b) currently states that the Planning and Land Authority must give the

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