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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (20 September) . . Page.. 3920 ..


Ms Lawder: Point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Minister, resume your seat. Stop the clock, please.

Ms Lawder: I have read the report. I understand what is in it. My question was: why did the government not release the report for nearly six months; not what is in the report.

MADAM SPEAKER: Minister, you have a minute, so perhaps come to that point of the question.

MR STEEL: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I was coming to the point. As outlined in the government response to the review, released alongside the report, the government has already implemented or is in the process of implementing the vast majority of recommendations in the review. We have been focussed on that over the past few months.

MS LAWDER: Minister, why did the government wait for nearly six months before releasing the report?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her supplementary. The ACT government takes this issue very seriously. To ensure that there would be absolute certainty as to the action the government is taking and to avoid any unnecessary confusion in the community about current legal and administrative frameworks for dog management, the government response has been released alongside the review. Clearly, the government response is a substantial document and it has taken time to prepare and deliver.

MS LEE: Minister, why did the government withhold the report for six months?

MR STEEL: I refer the member to my previous answer.

Economy—skilled migration

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment. Minister, at least one migration lawyer warned this government in November that its promotion of the skilled nominated migration scheme was attracting hundreds more potential applicants than the scheme could satisfy. A briefing to the Chief Minister in April clearly stated that the scheme was already oversubscribed. Yet in mid-June migration agents were told that there would be no changes to the application and assessment processes for this visa. Thirteen days later the scheme was abruptly closed to most would-be applicants. Minister, when did you first learn that the ACT was attracting more international students than the territory's 119 visa allotment could possibly handle?

MADAM SPEAKER: Minister Berry.

MS BERRY: I beg your pardon, Madam Speaker, I was obviously not paying—


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