Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 206..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
Mr Rattenbury makes a very important point that there is no point in passing this legislation if it is not able to be implemented through the busy summer season when we see most people out and about in Canberra. We do not want to see a repeat of the on-the-spot-fine process that took 15 months to implement. This is the way that this government, and particularly this minister, works.
While the process that we have talked about today is laudable and the aims are laudable, I still do not hold out a great deal of hope that the government will be able to meet this deadline. For three years already, the hospitality industry of the ACT has waited for this much-needed reform. For the government, it is okay to give only two months for the public and the industry to make submissions; yet, as we have seen, it has taken the government 15 months to release the report—as it took the government 15 months to implement the on-the-spot-fine process.
We have now seen that it will take the government another six months to develop an exposure draft, so it will be very difficult for this government to meet the deadlines that they have sort of set themselves by this amendment today. Also, through that process of the exposure draft and finalising the legislation, the government need to get out on the ground and do the work to ensure that the industry, the patrons and the public in general are aware of the changes that are foreshadowed and that, when the new laws come into operation, they will be able to come into operation cleanly and effectively.
I want to make some comment in passing on the comments made by the attorney in relation to the review of the liquor licensing process. The feedback that I have had from licensees is that over the past few months, maybe a year now, they have seen substantial improvements in the service and in the approachability of the liquor licensing service in the ACT. That is a compliment that needs to be passed on to the government, and I hope that those improvements will be seen elsewhere in the administration of liquor licensing, for the benefit of the community and the safety of the community, to ensure that we have a vibrant nightlife which is safe and where people do not feel concerned to let their children go out into Civic or elsewhere at night or worry about them when they are out.
I compliment Mr Rattenbury for the motion. I understand that Mr Corbell's amendments will pass. I flag that I am still concerned that Mr Corbell has wimped the final date to some extent. The Liberal opposition will be holding him to account and we will be doing what we can to ensure that the legislation is passed in a timely way.
Amendment agreed to.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.31): I appreciate the support of and comments made by members today. This is an area of discussion that I think we all understand needs some serious focus and some serious work considering the Greens are striving to spark a cultural change when it comes to drinking in Canberra.
At the moment it is accepted practice amongst too many groups of friends to go out and drink to excess without thinking through the consequences. As a community, we