Page 2233 - Week 06 - Thursday, 7 June 2018

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I acknowledge that the Gungahlin strategic assessment is a long-term project that will require ongoing coordination and support to ensure commitments are delivered in accordance with the plan. The ACT government has already undertaken a number of steps to implement the findings of the audit, delivering the required corrective actions and establishing new procedures and processes.

Further, actions to deliver the findings of the audit report will be published in the Gungahlin strategic assessment annual reports to ensure ongoing transparency. The government’s response to the audit has been a valuable opportunity to provide leadership for the development and delivery of future strategic assessments throughout Australia.

Molonglo Valley strategic assessment—audit

Paper and statement by minister

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (4.17): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Molonglo Valley Strategic Assessment—Independent Audit, dated 4 April 2018.

I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR RATTENBURY: I am pleased to table the first independent compliance audit of the Molonglo Valley Plan for the Protection of Matters of National Environmental Significance, the NES plan, undertaken by the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment. The purpose of the audit is to independently verify progress against the strategic assessment commitments agreed between the ACT and commonwealth governments under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. These commitments formed the conditions of approval for the Molonglo Valley development. Strategic assessment audits are intended to assist us to protect biodiversity in the development of our city.

The commitments relate to the development of suburbs in the Molonglo Valley and the protection of the five matters of national environmental significance in the area: the pink-tailed worm-lizard; white box, yellow box and Blakely’s red gum grassy woodland and derived native grassland; the natural temperate grassland; the superb parrot; and the swift parrot.

The commitments are to be delivered over a 30-year period, with an independent audit every five years. In July 2017 I directed the commissioner to undertake this audit, pursuant to sections 12(1)(b) and 21(1)(a) of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment Act 1993.

The audit was required by the commonwealth to be completed by 7 May 2018. The timeline was met by the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment.

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