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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 August 2010) . . Page.. 3775 ..


MR CORBELL: Madam Deputy Speaker, those are the reasons that this bill is delayed today and why it appears that the bill will be delayed this whole week and not debated until possibly September. I can tell Mr Rattenbury now that the government does not have available to it the money that he wants it to invest in improved transport in the city now. There is no appropriation. You cannot just go and use the Treasurer’s advance, Mr Rattenbury. You are not allowed to do that under the financial management provisions. So we are going to have this same stalemate in September.

I ask members to consider the government’s proposal, which is to pass the legislation, allow the improved public safety provisions that come from these reforms to take effect, allow us to go and tell licensees with confidence what the rules are going to be for them and give them sufficient time to prepare their risk assessment management plans under the new licensing regime. By denying us passage of this bill today, you are giving them less time to get it right and to go through the regulatory process.

I also say to members they should consider the government’s position—that is, by 1 December, we are prepared to come back into this place and tell you what it is we will do to improve transport provision in the city centre before the peak Christmas-new year period, before we see crowds of people on the streets enjoying the summer period. That is the government’s position, and I ask members to reconsider. I ask members to support passage of this bill today.

I also briefly must draw attention to the fact that after a six to eight-week winter break, on the day of debate on this bill, the Liberal Party tables 14 pages of amendments. Of course, the reason why this has happened is that Mrs Dunne was on holiday over the winter break and she was not doing any work. It is only when she got back that she realised that she had to do some work, because this bill was coming on for debate. Despite the fact that it was tabled as an exposure draft earlier this year, despite the fact that it was tabled formally as a bill in this place before the winter period, on the day that the bill is scheduled for debate, she fronts up with 14 pages of amendments.

I wonder if Mrs Dunne proposes to give these to the scrutiny of bills committee, as she is urging everyone else to do, or is that not necessary for Mrs Dunne? Madam Deputy Speaker, who is bargaining in good faith in this proposal? Not Mrs Dunne, and I do not think it is the Greens.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo), by leave: The central question that Mr Corbell was posing is: why has this bill been delayed? From our perspective, it is simply that the bottom line with this legislation is that it is about addressing public safety. Clearly, two of the key issues that are floating around that we know are serious problems are alcohol-related violence in the city and drink driving. A key response to both of those problems is the provision of decent late-night public transport.

That is not a new issue. That issue has been around for quite some time. In fact, we have seen on the front page of today’s Canberra Times a story about a very significant incident in Civic on Saturday night, a significant brawl involving a large group of young people. I have been told that that brawl took place in the taxi queue, exactly the point that we are talking about here—the fact that, because people cannot get a taxi, because they stand in queues for very long periods of time when they are intoxicated, they are cold, they want to go home, the violence erupts.


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