Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 8 June 2017) . . Page.. 2110 ..
Bill agreed to in principle.
Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (12.03), by leave: I move amendments Nos 1 to 4 circulated in my name together [see schedule 2 at page 2140].
I circulated these amendments today to address the lack of consultation with the community by the government. They are reasonably simple and have a lot of support from community organisations which, I believe, have some knowledge and expertise in this area and which have expressed their concerns.
Our amendment to the Heritage Act leaves the current legislation intact and provides that the heritage assessment does not have to be undertaken if the place or object is protected under another territory law or if the application is incomplete. This is in response to concerns raised with us. I reiterate our dismay at the length of time it has taken to get information. If the minister genuinely wants support for these amendments, a better consultation process would be appreciated.
I repeat that we had 10 emails and five phone calls before a briefing was provided six weeks after we first requested it, on the Monday before the last sitting period, when this was expected to be debated. When it was not debated last sitting period, we had another briefing and we were told to send our questions by email, which we did. We got the answers to those questions back just after 5 o’clock last night, which makes it very difficult for us to analyse the response and provide support, if that is what the minister genuinely wishes.
With regard to the Public Place Names Act, I would like to thank Mr Milligan for the information that he provided and point out that during the changes this week to the elected body act we heard the concerns of the United Ngunnawal Elders Council, who expressed the opinion that an appropriate cultural group might mean an inappropriate individual, and they had the elected body act further amended to require the elected body in their consultations to provide an explanatory statement of why they chose that appropriate cultural group.
We have also heard this week that members of the Indigenous community have been deeply offended by the words and actions of the Chief Minister and the health minister, and part of the reason for that offence is that there was a perception that the whole consultation process around the elected body, around the Ngunnawal bush healing farm, around Boomanulla oval, was all just for show. The Indigenous community have indicated to us that they are tired of words and hollow consultations without real action. In this particular instance, the proposed amendments in Mr Gentleman’s PABELAB water down even further the requirements for consultation, let alone meaningful action as a result of that consultation.