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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004-2005 Week 1 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 235..


As members would be aware, there has been a range of discussions outlining the sitting pattern for the coming calendar year. There are no significant changes to the sitting pattern. Whilst the number of sitting days is reasonably comparable to those of the last Assembly for a year, there will be, in fact, a greater number of sitting days. Members will note that one change is to extend sitting days to Friday mornings every second sitting week. That is consistent with the proposal the government has put to other parties and members in the Assembly to provide for more appropriate times for sitting during the week and to allow increased capacity for executive business on Fridays. I commend the calendar to members.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Road Transport (General) Amendment Bill 2004

Debate resumed from 7 December 2004, on motion by Mr Quinlan:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (11.38): The opposition will be supporting the bill. As would be appreciated, the Summernats event will be the indirect but immediate beneficiary of the proposed amendments, although, of course, these changes will be applicable to other events. Summernats is an important opportunity for motorsports enthusiasts to come together. It is also of major importance in Canberra to the elements of the retail, hospitality and tourism industries which have been beneficiaries of this event for some 17 years.

Research undertaken by my office reveals that attendance figures reached last year passed the 116,000 mark-and fairly steady growth has been enjoyed over the past several years. I understand that some legal debate exists in relation to the necessity for these amendments but, as the bill states, it is all about removing any doubt whatsoever in relation to possible third party claims that might arise from events such as the one I have identified.

I thank the Treasurer for arranging for a detailed briefing to be provided by both his staff and departmental officials in relation to the amendments, including the urgent nature of this matter. Summernats will, I am advised, inject around $15 million into the ACT economy and will involve direct expenditure by those organising the event of around $3 million. I understand that 90 per cent of their outlays are expended in the local region. It appears that employment, through one means or another, is created for around 2,000 people from all walks of life who are fulfilling a range of tasks from food service through to ticket sales and security.

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