Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 9 Hansard (8 August) . . Page.. 2715..
In accordance with the time frames specified under section 75 of the Planning and Development Act 2007, the committee was due to present its report on Friday, 9 August 2013. The committee is well advanced in its consideration of the draft variation. However, due to the scope of the inquiry and some administration changes, the committee has been unable to finalise its report by that date, 9 August 2013.
I wish to advise the Assembly that the committee has written to the minister to request additional time to finalise the report. In informal discussions to date, the minister has noted that the committee intends to report by 6 September 2013 and has indicated his willingness to consider the committee's recommendations at that time before proceeding with the draft variation.
Justice and Community Safety Legislation (Red Tape Reduction No 1—Licence Periods) Amendment Bill 2013
Debate resumed from 6 June 2013, on motion by Mr Corbell:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR HANSON (Molonglo-Leader of the Opposition) (12.11): The Canberra Liberals will support the Justice and Community Safety Legislation (Red Tape Reduction No 1—Licence Periods) Amendment Bill 2013. This bill increases the maximum licence or registration period from one year to three years for a range of industries. It also extends the already existing flexibility that allows the currency of relevant licences and registrations to continue until a decision is made in relation to renewal, even though that might mean a licence or registration extends beyond the three-year period.
I note that the three-year period is a maximum and that ORS can decide on a shorter period if circumstances warrant. Further, I note that some licences and registrations that carry an inherent risk to public safety, public health or other considerations will remain at 12 months. I thank the Attorney-General for his advice that these are licences issued under the Prostitution Act 1992 and the Tobacco Act 1927.
This is a small step in the right direction for a government that for the past 12 years has been more interested in increasing the regulatory burden for small business in this city than it has been in reducing it. It has taken the government 12 long years to learn to listen to the pleas of the business community for less regulation, less red tape and lower compliance costs. It seems that it is only now when business in the ACT is at a low ebb with only gloom in view and a massive burden of regulation and red tape that this government has been forced into a position where it is looking at red tape reduction.
Madam Speaker, this government is trumpeting its business-friendly approach to regulation, as they view it. Let me say that the businesses that I talked to across the spectrum do not view it that way. But I acknowledge that this bill is a welcome step. It is certainly not a giant leap and I am not holding my breath, but we will be supporting this legislation.