Page 3286 - Week 10 - Thursday, 25 September 2014

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Having made those few detailed remarks, I welcome, as I said earlier today, the significant effort that the government has gone to to pick up the recommendations from the scrutiny committee. I think it has improved the bill substantially. Whilst I think there are issues to be monitored, I am happy to support the amendments today.

Amendments agreed to.

Remainder of bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Heritage Legislation Amendment Bill 2013

Debate resumed from 16 May 2013, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR RATTENBURY (Ginninderra) (5.03): The ACT heritage community have been waiting for this revision of our heritage legislation for many years now, and the Greens are glad that this bill is finally before us today.

The Greens believe, first, that heritage is to be interpreted broadly in order to reflect the diverse nature of our territory’s history from pre-European settlement to present-day society, inclusive of Indigenous, immigrant and contemporary Australians. Secondly, we believe that heritage in the ACT is a precious asset and resource to be respected and protected for current and future generations. And finally, we think that heritage protection is not limited to the preservation of buildings and other physical structures, but also includes preservation of intangible heritage such as the memories and stories of our elders, including Indigenous elders, which in turn fosters our sense of place and community.

Turning to the legislation, the Heritage Act contained a requirement for a five-year review. Heritage consultant Duncan Marshall, now chair of the Heritage Council, undertook the review of the ACT’s heritage legislation, which was released in August 2010, after a government discussion paper and public consultation. The review contained 111 recommendations.

The Marshall review of the Heritage Act was very broad, and looked into our heritage system more broadly than just evaluating necessary legislative review. The review also identified a range of systems that could be improved in order to better protect and promote our heritage.

The review was long overdue, and we had heard about considerable issues regarding heritage management in the ACT for many years. Unfortunately, it then took until early 2013 for the government to respond to the review. And I note that this amendment bill before us today does not have another legislated review clause in it.

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