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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 6 (4 May) . . Page.. 1735..


MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):

I congratulate the Stanhope government for major recent initiatives such as the revitalisation of the Fair Trading Advisory Committee and the establishment of the enforcement and litigation unit within the Office of Fair Trading. The unit has obviously been instrumental in giving teeth to the office's enforcement activities as well as improving the quality of advice given by the advice and complaints unit. Clearly, the local community is well served by the 35 staff at the ACT Office of Fair Trading who implement government policies that are both protective of consumers and conducive to good business.

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (10.37), in reply: I thank members for their contribution to the debate. Mr Stefaniak, who spoke to this motion when it first came up in the last sitting week, talked about a couple of issues which he believed that the Office of Fair Trading needed to address. One of them, I think, shows the difference in attitude between people in the way the place operates.

He made mention of there being an excessive amount of bureaucratic red tape-I think that was what he was alluding to-for somebody trying to show something at the Royal Canberra Show. I am sure that the Office of Fair Trading would be happy to look into that. As the matter happened a couple of years ago and the Chief Minister's office did look at it at the time, I am quite sure that that problem has been addressed.

The other one that I took note of in what Mr Stefaniak said was the issue about a nightclub in the city being near a hotel or serviced apartments and there being an excessive amount of noise. Mr Stefaniak has suggested that the way to solve the problem with that, and the Office of Fair Trading should have something to do with it, is to close down this nightclub at 11 o'clock at night, because that is when guests go to sleep.

I suggest, Mr Speaker, that if Mr Stefaniak travels to any other city in this country and stays in a hotel or serviced apartment in the city he will discover that there are nightclubs within the vicinity of the hotel or serviced apartment which also make noise, and they do not shut at 11 o'clock at night. Whilst I appreciate that guests in a hotel wish to go to sleep and do not wish to be disturbed by an undue amount of noise, I am sure that it is an issue that can be resolved without trying to take the fun out of the city. I think that Mr Stefaniak's suggestion of closing the nightclub at 11 o'clock at night because that is when the guests wish to go to sleep would not be greatly welcomed by a number of the people who patronise that nightclub.

Apart from that, Mr Speaker, I thank members for their contribution to the debate and I commend the motion.

Motion agreed to.

City Hill and the city centre

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (10.40): I move:

That this Assembly:


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