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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (23 October) . .

Page.. 3548..


presented by some food-related activities. This amendment, coupled with the existing provision that allows a food business to be exempted from the requirement to register under the act, will provide the flexibility to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses on a case-by-case basis.

The third amendment will provide for multiyear registrations under the act. Currently, all food businesses must register annually. As a red tape reduction measure, the proposed amendment will allow registrations to be granted for up to three years, thereby reducing the paperwork burden on businesses.

As part of the ACT government's effort to enhance collaboration and openness in the way we govern, the Health Directorate is establishing a food regulation reference group. The reference group will engage with food businesses, public health groups and consumer bodies on issues of food regulation, including the changes proposed in the bill. Going forward, this will ensure a collaborative and transparent approach to food regulation in the ACT.

Two supplementary amendments are also proposed in the bill. The first will narrow the offence of interfering with a closure notice from "a person" to "the proprietor of the affected food business". The Health Directorate has encountered instances where food businesses have taken steps to hide or obscure closure notices. This amendment will place the onus on the proprietor to ensure closure notices remain correctly displayed.

The second of the supplementary amendments will amend the time limit in which the Chief Health Officer has to place a conviction on the register of food offences from 21 days to "as soon as possible". Past experience has shown that it can be difficult to obtain, verify and publish offence information within the 21-day limit, especially in instances where a food business lodges an appeal.

Madam Deputy Speaker, this bill reflects the ACT government's commitment to red tape reduction and also that "food safety matters". The amendments proposed in the bill will do much to relieve the compliance burden on food businesses and deregulate non-profit community organisations from the Food Act, while still protecting the Canberra community from the risk of foodborne illnesses.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.

Exhibition Park Corporation Repeal Bill 2014

Mr Barr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Housing and Minister for Tourism and Events) (11.14): I move:


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