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Thursday, 18 May 1972
Page: 1787


Senator WOOD (Queensland) - I withdraw notice of motion No. 1, Business of the Senate, standing in my name and I seek leave to make a statement in regard to the matter.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Prowse) - Is leave granted? There being no objection leave is granted.


Senator WOOD - As regards this notice of motion, relating to the Australian Capital Territory Electricity Ordinance 1971, I wish to acquaint the Senate that the Regulations and Ordinances Committee was concerned with provisions in this ordinance v/hereby the Electricity Authority was empowered to enter upon a lessor's property, after notice, and trim or lop any tree which in the opinion of the Authority was interfering, or might interfere with, electrical wires. The Committee was concerned that this provision gave to the Authority an unduly wide power and provided the citizen with no redress in case of the misuse of that power. In response to the submissions from the Committee, the Minister for the Interior (Mr Hunt) has given an undertaking that the ordinance will be amended so as to provide that whether the trees are interfering with wires will be a question for objective determination, and will not depend upon the opinion of the Authority, and that the person who regards the Authority's notice that trees must be trimmed or looped as unreasonable will have a right to a review of the notice by a court. It will also be provided that the cost of lopping trees which were on a parcel of land before electricity wires were established will be borne by the Authority and not by the occupier as previously provided. The Committee was also concerned with certain provisions relating to the rights of persons licensed under the ordinance and, in this area, the Minister has also given assurances that the ordinance will be amended so as to meet the points raised by the Committee. The Committee wishes to express its sincere appreciation of the courtesy and co-operation which it has received from the Minister in regard to this ordinance and other ordinances recently examined by the Committee.







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