Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 8 June 2017) . . Page.. 2111 ..
We believe the changes to the Public Place Names Act are just another example of the government watering down their requirements to consult with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Our amendments that we have brought today are about responsiveness to the needs and the wishes of the community when it comes to changing legislation that affects them. We believe best policy is reached when consultation is broad and thorough. That is the best way to avoid unintended consequences of changes to legislation. These amendments are in response to community councils, the National Trust and other organisations. I commend the amendments to the Assembly.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (12.08): The proposed new clause 13A is the first one that I will talk to. The government does not support the amendment in proposed new clause 13A to insert a new section 29(1)(a)(iii). The amendment put forward by the opposition in clause 13A duplicates the existing provision of the Heritage Act. The content of the proposed subsection (iii) is already covered by the wording in the existing section 29(1)(a)(i) of the Heritage Act, with the Heritage Council already having the ability to dismiss an application where it is lacking in substance, that is, where the nomination application does not contain enough information for an assessment to be made. Therefore this is an unnecessary amendment, as the existing provisions of the act already provide for this circumstance.
The government does not support the amendment in the proposed new clause 13B to insert a new section 32(3) in the Heritage Act. The new section 32(3) proposes an amendment to the provisional registration decision-making power in the Heritage Act. The government’s original amendment in clause 14 of the bill does not amend decision-making powers. The government does not support making a change to a decision-making power without consulting more broadly with key heritage stakeholders and the community. The government believes the amendment put forward by the opposition goes beyond the scope of the current minor omnibus amendment bill before the Assembly. If we talk about consultation, there is a good example there.
On the proposed amendments to clause 18, the public names amendment, the government does not support the proposed amendments to clause 18 of the bill. The government originally proposed the amendment in clause 18 to deal with the fact that the current prescribed entity to be consulted on the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vocabulary in public place names no longer exists.
The prescribed entity is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, commonly known as ATSIC. After a process of research and consultation a single replacement national body that has the capacity and authority to be responsible of providing responses on behalf of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community has not been found. Specifically, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, or AIATSIS, and the ACT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait