Page 585 - Week 02 - Thursday, 22 February 2018

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case in a landlocked city where the options for urban development become either developing up or developing out. Whether it be developing up or developing out, each in its own way puts pressure on the balance between our urban and natural environments. The good news is that it is not necessarily a case of having one option or the other, but as the challenge becomes a bit trickier, there is a need for a higher level of productivity to make sure that, as Canberra urbanises, we always keep nature in our city.

This inquiry provides Canberrans with a great opportunity to have their say about nature in our city as our bush capital grows, and I look forward to hearing people’s thoughts.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Lakes Amendment Bill 2017

Debate resumed from 31 October 2017, on motion by Mr Gentleman:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (10.55): I can confirm to the Assembly today that the opposition will not be opposing this bill. I will, however, take this time to make some comments on the nature of the bill and the proposed amendments.

Whilst overall it is pleasing to see that the review initiated by the National Capital Authority in 2016 has resulted in updates to this legislation, it is disappointing that the ACT government has not been proactive in this area, and required a prompt from the National Capital Authority.

As a former waterski instructor, I spent many years on the water, probably too many, enjoying the fun that waterways can provide. That is why I find it disappointing that this bill fails to provide any increase in access to or opportunities available for recreation on Canberra lakes.

It is concerning that these amendments have taken so long, given that they address matters of public safety and enforcement of laws that Canberrans rightly expect to be in place. These amendments include the requirement to provide and wear life jackets; restrictions on the operation of boats under the influence of alcohol and other drugs; reporting requirements for accidents; and a number of clauses relating to powers of inspectors and the penalties for not obeying directions or requests.

Essentially, these are commonsense measures that should have been reflected in this legislation long before now. I note that these important safety measures are already operating in other jurisdictions. But at least the government is finally catching up.

It is also evident that some of these changes put forward have human rights implications. I note that these issues were explored by the Standing Committee on

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