Page 3486 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 17 September 2019

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There is also a Stromlo stakeholder consultative committee. It currently includes representatives of many organisations, including the ACT government, the ACT Equestrian Association, the Bicentennial National Trail, Canberra Off Road Cyclists—they are quite amazing; it scares me to do that stuff—We Ride, Cycling ACT, YMCA Canberra Runners Club, Cycle Life HQ, Triathlon ACT, and Pedal Power. These are some of the wonderful stakeholders that are included in conversations. There are also the local members, who are happy to listen to everything that people have to say and to feed in to the development as it goes on at Stromlo Forest Park.

As I was saying, sportsgrounds play a key role in supporting training and competition requirements for the sports sector. Sportsgrounds are heavily utilised as recreation spaces by the wider community on a daily basis. All sportsgrounds at the district playing fields will be available for community recreation usage when the sportsgrounds are not formally hired or in use for formal sports training and competition requirements. The community is welcome to use them.

The government’s ongoing investment in community assets owned by the public is a demonstration of what good governments do. I thank Miss Burch for the opportunity to brag about it today.

Discussion concluded.

Official Visitor Amendment Bill 2019

Debate resumed from 15 August 2019, on motion by Mr Rattenbury:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (3.52): The Canberra Liberals are supporting the changes the government is making to the official visitor scheme in this bill. It has already been pointed out by the minister in his presentation speech that the bill gives effect to recommendations from the 2017 review of the official visitor scheme.

The work of official visitors is very important. It is one of the checks and balances available on government activity. It also allows the government to have an eye to how people are going, particularly for vulnerable groups in our prison, people suffering with disability and others.

As the minister would be aware, I raised concerns with his office in relation to clauses 26 to 28 making changes to the Official Visitors Board. Currently, the board is made up of the Public Trustee and Guardian, who is required to be the chair of the board; at least one human rights commissioner; and two official visitors elected by the official visitors. Clause 26 amends this to include “any other members appointed by the Minister”. Clause 27 removes the public trustee as chair of the board, instead authorising the minister to appoint the chair of the board. Clause 28 provides:

The chair of official visitors board may delegate the board’s functions under this Act, an operational Act or another territory law to the official visitors executive officer or another public servant.

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