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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 7 Hansard (4 June) . .

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maximum length of various licence periods. These amendments were in response to a recommendation from the then Red Tape Reduction Panel. The amendments I present today will provide benefits to business by reducing the administration of licence renewals, which is a cost to business. They are also consistent with earlier amendments to licence periods and reflect the ongoing engagement of government with industry.

The government will continue to create the right regulatory environment for businesses in the territory and pursue opportunities for reducing red tape and streamlining processes for business. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

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

Financial Management Amendment Bill 2015

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—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (10.12): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Madam Speaker, today I table the Financial Management Amendment Bill 2015. The bill amends the Financial Management Act 1996. The objective of the FMA is to provide an efficient, effective and robust framework for the financial management of the territory. To date, amendments have been made from time to time to the FMA to address specific issues. However, the FMA has remained largely unchanged since its commencement in 1996.

Although there are no major problems with the FMA in its current form, there is certainly scope for improvement. The recent economic challenges our city has faced made it apparent that a number of existing provisions are too rigid and constrain the government's ability to quickly respond to emerging priorities. The community today have higher expectations on the responsiveness of their government compared to when the act was introduced nearly 20 years ago. It is time to modernise the legislation to provide an updated framework which meets the needs of the government today and into the future. The bill results from an FMA review being undertaken by the government and focuses mainly on areas of appropriation and budget management.

The bill contains a number of initiatives to enhance the ability of government to be more nimble and responsive to changing community needs from a funding perspective. The bill provides the government with the ability to progress initial preparatory work on new initiatives in a risk-managed way pending the passing of the first appropriation act. This will allow government priorities to be delivered in a more timely manner.


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