Page 2105 - Week 06 - Thursday, 8 June 2017

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It is interesting to note that in Namadgi National Park and within the Ginini Flats area, feral pigs, feral horses and other pest animals are a concern. In the plan it suggests, where management planning is absent, that programs be established to monitor the presence and impact of goats, cattle, deer, foxes, cats, rabbits and European wasps. The next review of the plan is due in seven years, that is, May 2024.

In respect of whether it is consistent with the commonwealth time line, I was informed by the minister’s office that:

… under Australia’s obligations to the Ramsar Convention, encapsulated in Schedule 6 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations, every Ramsar site needs an individual plan of management in place, to be reviewed at intervals of AT LEAST seven years. The plan prepared by the ACT would serve this purpose. The ACT Ginini Flats Wetland Management Plan and 7 year review timeframe will satisfy the Commonwealth legislative obligations.

I understand that most jurisdictions have not embedded Ramsar reporting arrangements into their own legislation, so the reporting occurs through administrative practice rather than in a statutory program. It seems that, in practice, again according to the directorate, there is significant variation, of between five and 10 years, to the reporting framework, with many plans written in the 1990s yet to be reviewed. The amendment in this bill proposes to amend the embedded time frame in ACT legislation to seven years to link in with the minimum reporting period under the commonwealth regulations. We do not oppose those proposed policy amendments.

I now turn to the technical amendments proposed in the bill. Clause 13 fixes up a drafting oversight in the Environment Protection Act with respect to notice of environmental audits.

Clause 16 amends the Nature Conservation Act with the intention that an exception to certain offences was clearly intended to extend to a conservation officer’s duties or to a person acting under a nature conservation licence.

Clauses 5, 6, 21 and 22 make amendments to the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act and the Water Resources Act to make provision for reporting in the caretaker period so that it is consistent with the procedure set out in the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act. We do not oppose these amendments.

Other technical amendments impacting on the Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act, the Water Resources Act and the Water Resources Regulations are introduced as a consequence of recent and possible future changes to council names in New South Wales.

In order to get around any further changes to councils listed in the original acts, the amendments in the bill define geographic regions rather than specific council names. This is a sensible approach and will prevent the need to come back again to the

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