Page 358 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

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As the chair of the committee responsible for the inquiry into this legislation, I was a witness to written and oral submissions from key legal, medical and human rights bodies that, in principle, supported the intent and design of this legislation, while providing a range of important reflections on the balancing of rights. These organisations included the ACT Law Society, the ACT Human Rights Commission, the ACT Council of Social Service and the Health Care Consumers Association of the ACT.

With the help of the diligent secretariat, the committee received and analysed over 1,100 submissions to this inquiry. These submissions focused on the key question of how to appropriately balance human rights with the mitigation of harm to vulnerable people through the transmission of COVID in high-risk settings. Most of these submissions were from individuals living interstate and overseas concerned largely with the philosophical issue of the impact of public health measures on civil liberties.

I would like to give particular thanks to the committee secretariat for their diligent and highly professional engagement with all of those who made submissions to this inquiry. Committee support went above and beyond throughout this process. They were highly adaptable and gracious in providing support to enable the committee to undertake its important function.

I am pleased that, as a member of this place, I can be actively involved in the scrutiny of legislation, and I am grateful for the community’s high level of engagement with this process.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


The following petitions were lodged for presentation:

Advertising—public spaces and transport—petition 35-21

By Ms Clay, from 523 residents:

To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory

The following residents of the ACT draw to the attention of the ACT Assembly:

Public space advertising is a socially, economically and environmentally destructive and fundamentally undemocratic practice: giving a collective community asset to a private company. It is also hugely unpopular in the ACT, having been the subject of sustained community campaigning to protect our relatively ad free status.

Ads have begun creeping into our city:

- Illegal ads, such as billboards at the Canberra Centre, McDonalds ads on bus shelters, or digital billboards in Bunda Street, are proliferating.

- New types of ads, such as parked billboards and developer ads on construction site hoardings.

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