Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 4 Hansard (19 March) . . Page.. 1042..
want me to put that money into an online purchasing system, bulk buying and other arrangements that we are in discussions on through the task force and that were clearly articulated in the ACT election policy?"Given the absence of any policy, thought or any idea other than "there's a million bucks on the table, we can think about it; that group over there's a bit noisy; can you take some money from that over there"that is not very good policy making.
MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mrs Jones.
MRS JONES: Minister, is it a good outcome if the ACT canteens association shuts up shop?
MS BURCH: It would no doubt be unfortunate for some in our community that any association that has had a history of 20-plus years folds. There is no doubt about that. People have long personal attachments to some associations and connections. There is no doubt about that.
But if the point here is around working with school canteens and P&C associations around sustainability and healthy choices for kids in our schools, then that is the focus that I need to put on it. That is where I think the policy investment needs to be. The task force is looking at these opportunities. It is tasked, quite literally, with finding options for me to consider as we move through. In many ways there are quite generational changes. There are fewer volunteers than before within school canteens. Some schools are choosing to outsource their canteens to non-P&C run enterprises. There is change afoot, but we need to concentrate on what is the end game here. It is about choice for the school community and healthy choices for our kids.
MS BERRY: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister, this morning you announced a draft variation that would make changes to the allowable retail space for supermarkets in our local centres. Can you provide to the Assembly details about this draft variation?
MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Berry for her question. Today I was pleased to release draft variation 304 to the territory plan for public consultation. This draft variation is the culmination of an overall review of the commercial zones development code in the territory plan. The major change proposed is that the retail floor space in supermarkets in local centres be restricted to 1,000 square metres.
This change is important because local centres cater largely to the residents of a single suburb and there is no doubt that some of our local centres in recent years have been suffering from decline, at least some of which can be attributed to competition from larger supermarket chains, affecting the viability of local centres.
The government acknowledges some of the problems faced by local centre retailers and we have been working hard on a number of fronts to address these issues. One of the issues identified has been the fact that until today there has been no restriction on