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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (17 November) . . Page.. 2550..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Mr Speaker, the world of petrol marketing is far from certain. There are many uncertainties in it. Perhaps we are contributing slightly to the uncertainties by repealing the Fair Trading (Petroleum Retail Marketing) Act today, but I think we accept that there needs to be flexibility in the marketplace, as I said. Once again I thank the Opposition for its support for the Bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

ROADS AND PUBLIC PLACES (AMENDMENT) BILL 1998

Debate resumed from 29 October 1998, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HARGREAVES (10.56): Mr Speaker, the current Roads and Public Places Act 1937 prohibits a person from using advertising signs if they do not have a permit issued by the ACT Government. This appears simple enough in theory. However, difficulty arises when it comes to enforcing the law. Indeed, some would argue that bureaucracy has gone nuts. In my own case - I am sure my colleague Mr Smyth will appreciate this one - we had to ring up our good friend David Lissimore and say, "Can we stick a sign up, please, David?" and he would say, "Certainly not", or "Certainly". If he said, "Certainly not", we then figured that we had a fairly good chance that we were not going to get done. We were not going to lose the sign, so what was the point of getting the authority? This Bill takes away the silliness of us having to ring up David Lissimore and say, "Can we please have a sign up?".

Problems have arisen within the law when a person does not follow the appropriate procedures. However, prosecuting a person for illegal signs has been difficult under the existing legislation, almost weekly. This amendment gives clearer legislative powers for the placement and removal of signs in public places. It also establishes a code of practice which outlines guidelines for people displaying a moveable sign. This Bill gives the legislative authority for real estate, business, directional and sandwich board signs.

I am pleased to see that the legislation is flexible with community groups, charities and schools. Often, for many of these organisations, who have limited funds, the only means of advertising an event is with this type of signage. I am glad that they will be able to continue with the current method.


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