ACT Shadow Minister for Environment, Brendan Smyth, will move a motion tomorrow, Wednesday 20 March 2013, for the Government to establish a nature conservation agency within the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate by 1 July 2013.
According to Mr Smyth, the current conservation functions are split between the Environment and Sustainability Directorate and Territory and Municipal Services Directorate, and this has led to undesired outcomes, such as:
- Thinly spread field staff and reduced ‘corporate knowledge’ for operations.
- Lack of intergration between the policy and implementation initiatives.
- Poor environmental planning foresight of projects.
“This motion makes perfect sense as it will bring together the ‘doing’ and the ‘policy’ functions under a single directorate. This will mean better integration of policy and service delivery to our local communities.
“Leading up to the last election, the Canberra Liberals made a commitment to consolidate nature conservation functions under one Directorate.
“It is good to see that this initiative has been picked up in the 2012 ACT Labor-Greens agreement, where Clause 3.12 seeks to merge all existing ACT conservation services into one single agency.
“I hope that the Government can see beyond party politics, and do what is right for local Canberra communities and the environment.