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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1150..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

it back immediately. Anyway, if you need any help with reading the budget papers, please let us know.

Fireworks

MS GALLAGHER: Early in question time today, I undertook to get back to Mrs Cross about why new dangerous goods legislation had not been presented to the Assembly. Mr Speaker, it will not be possible to develop legislation which can be passed prior to the June 2003 long weekend, although the government will have legislation introduced to enable plenty of time for fireworks operators to implement the new requirements before the following June long weekend.

There are two people in the Chief Minister's Department who work on fireworks policy and legislation. They also work on occupational health and safety policy and legislation, and provide support to the ACT Occupational Health and Safety Council and its three subcommittees.

Since the government tabled its response to the standing committee, the Chief Minister's Department has researched and prepared answers to 50 separate questions on notice about fireworks litigation, regulation and storage. This has diverted resources away from the development of the legislation.

However, work is continuing on the legislation. Transitional arrangements will implement the major commitments made by the government regarding the type of fireworks available for sale to members of the public for this June long weekend. The Chief Inspector of Dangerous Goods will shortly issue the 2003 standards for sampling and testing shopgood fireworks. This will limit the sale of shopgood fireworks to those which do not produce a report or a loud bang. This is intended to address the noise complaints and issues associated with fireworks frightening pets.

Regarding interim measures to make sure this year's fireworks season is less problematic, the Chief Minister's Department has organised a briefing session for all fireworks operators at 10 am next Thursday, 10 April. All fireworks operators have been invited and all but one have indicated that they will be attending. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the interim arrangements that will be in place this June long weekend, and to ensure that the process for applying for licences is conducted in a timely and orderly way.

The Chief Inspector of Dangerous Goods will be attending this meeting and the Chief Minister's Department will be assisting the chief inspector and ACT WorkCover in managing the licensing application and approval process this year.

Leave of absence

MS TUCKER (3.33): I move:

That leave of absence for the remainder of the day be given to Ms Tucker.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


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