Page 2114 - Week 07 - Thursday, 16 May 2013

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Each jurisdiction has amended the wording of these criteria slightly to best suit their circumstances. The ACT has followed this trend with minor amendments to the wording to reflect that the ACT’s heritage legislation protects places and objects and provides for the recognition, protection and conservation of natural, Aboriginal and historic heritage. The HERCON criteria do not include scope for economic consideration to form part of the process for significance assessment.

As already noted, it is important that decisions about registration reflect the heritage significance of the place or object. There is scope to consider economic factors at the time of decisions affecting management and conservation. It should also be noted that while not included in the HERCON criteria, and therefore not considered for the vast majority of registration decisions, the new provisions for ministerial call-in powers will enable some scope for the minister to consider matters which may include economics where this affects public benefit or government policy.

Further, the wording clarifies that the heritage register will continue to be used to protect those places and objects of territory-level significance and does not include places and objects of local heritage significance. I believe the ACT is in a unique position in Australia whereby “state-territory” and local significance are, in effect, one and the same. Given its geographical and population size and the relatively intimate scale of the territory, it is already comparable to what most other jurisdictions consider to be local.

In closing, I wish to reiterate that in order for the Heritage Act to be an effective tool it needs to be easily understood, transparent and describe robust processes. I believe the amendments and associated policy elements based on a review of the act’s functionality after five years will achieve this. Prior to finalising the bill for debate, I intend to call for public comment to ensure that the bill is as closely aligned as possible with community and stakeholder expectations. The government may consider its own amendments to the bill at the conclusion of this process. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Amendment Bill 2013

Mr Rattenbury, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.48): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The single most defining feature to indicate the quality of any executive government is the level of accountability that exists for the decisions it makes. There are many forms of accountability—the most notable in the ACT are this Assembly and the

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