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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 7 Hansard (7 August) . .

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Legislation Program—Spring 2014—Key themes and government priority legislation items, dated 7 August 2014.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: Madam Speaker, I am pleased to outline this afternoon some of the key aspects of the government's legislative agenda for the spring 2014 sittings of the Assembly. As we approach the halfway mark of this parliamentary term, the government is continuing with a legislative program that delivers on the commitments we have made to the people of the ACT. It builds on the program of policy and legislative reform that has occurred through the first half of 2014 and maintains the clear focus of the government on core Labor principles of fairness, equality and inclusion.

During this sitting the government will also give legislative effect to key measures to support our economy and the jobs of Canberrans amid challenging economic conditions, central to these priorities are red tape reduction and regulatory reform and the drive to client-focused and responsive ACT government machinery.

Underpinning the government's work in this area is a dedicated regulatory reform team in the new Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate to coordinate this work across agencies. I advise the Assembly that a broad range of initiatives are being pursued in order to deliver tangible benefits to the community.

Firstly, as part of the regulation reform initiative, the government will be introducing a new ACT Public Service Bill. The bill will be a high level, principles-based piece of legislation that sets out public service powers. Once enacted, it will replace the Public Sector Management Act 1994. The bill will reduce the current complexity and red tape in the ACT public service employment framework. It will also bring to the ACT a more modern approach to public sector legislation, as we have seen in changes to the commonwealth public sector legislation.

Secondly, the government will introduce further legislation with practical measures to reduce red tape in different parts of the ACT economy. This legislation includes the Gaming Machine (Reform) Amendment Bill 2014, facilitating gaming machine reforms which support the ongoing viability of the club sector and implement many of the commitments in the inaugural memorandum of understanding signed by the ACT government and ClubsACT. In addition, the Veterinary Surgeons Bill 2014, repealing the Health Professionals Act 2004, will create a new act to manage veterinary surgeons practicing in the ACT, including providing the statutory mechanisms for registration, professional conduct standards and a disciplinary scheme.

The ACT economy has shown significant resilience since the severe cuts announced in May's commonwealth budget, and the territory government will continue to take steps where we can to support local businesses and jobs. It was pleasing to see today the labour force figures showing continued growth in employment in the ACT.

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