Page 2110 - Week 07 - Thursday, 16 May 2013

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The board model proposed in the bill meets concerns around independence and support, while still allowing official visitors to be largely self-determining. The Official Visitors Board represents the government’s commitment to providing the broadest possible professional support to official visitors and will assist in reducing unnecessary overlap in the functions of official visitors and other government bodies responsible for protecting vulnerable people.

This bill reflects collaboration between this government and the community to refine a scheme that can effectively monitor environments where we find our most vulnerable people. It is based on extensive consultation with governments and stakeholders to identify a model that is capable of operating effectively from its commencement to protect vulnerable people in diverse environments. It will establish clear, operational requirements that will protect and maintain its objectives. It will remain responsive to the people it is designed to protect through the efforts of government and the community to refine those issues identified since the act was passed.

This bill represents the government’s strong and steadfast commitment to the official visitor scheme. It takes nothing away from the current act but instead adds further detail to ensure the new scheme maintains its objectives and will operate effectively. This government has done what it was asked to do when the act was first adopted. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

Heritage Legislation Amendment Bill 2013

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.33): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Heritage Legislation Amendment Bill 2013. It is fitting to be able to present this bill to the Assembly in our centenary year. This is a bill which will strengthen the ACT’s existing heritage conservation framework. The Heritage Act was first passed in 2004 and provides for the recognition, registration, conservation and promotion of places and objects of natural, Aboriginal and historic heritage significance.

The act also provided for its review after five years of operation. We have used that opportunity to reflect on what has worked and those provisions that currently pose challenges and require reworking to achieve transparent, effective and sustainable outcomes.

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