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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 26 August 2010) . . Page.. 4092 ..


debate this bill. Mr Corbell is not ready to debate this bill, because he has failed to present the complete reform package. In this complete brave new world, this new reform package, there are no final regulations and there is no fee schedule to support it. Mr Corbell has argued that it is not necessary to have the regulations or the fee schedule available to enable the debate on the bill to proceed. In ordinary circumstances that may be so but, when there is substantial law reform on the table, it has been the practice of the Canberra Liberals—when we were in government—to provide all the material at once. Mr Corbell himself will recall, because I think he was the shadow at the time, that when the environment protection legislation was introduced into this place in, I think, 1997, every code of practice, every regulation, everything was introduced at the same time. It was scrutinised at the same time.

In addition to there having been substantial community consultation over at least 18 months before that, all of those things were tabled at the one time, and then they were reviewed by an Assembly committee. There was a roundtable to agree on things that could be agreed upon, and things that could not be agreed upon were dealt with on the floor of the Assembly. That is how civilised law reform should happen, and that is how things happened, and that is the way I am used to doing it.

The attorney said that these regulations would be available, but they have not been made available. I wrote to the attorney last week reminding him of his commitment but he was basically saying, “No, we are going to do it this way,” because he is not ready. And the people of the ACT are not ready, because they do not know finally what the regulations will mean and, most importantly, they do not know how much this will cost.

That is why we sought to adjourn this matter on Tuesday, and that is why we would prefer that this matter were not debated today. Now, the Greens had their own reasons for adjourning on Tuesday, and they have their own reasons for capitulating today, and they are different, for the most part. But there was agreement between us that we should see the fee schedule before we agree to this bill, because it has substantial implications for the people of the ACT.

The minister has talked—I do apologise to members for my croaky voice; I suspect it is going to get a lot croakier before this evening is concluded—a lot about reform, but what he has given is not really reform. Reform suggests starting afresh, with a blank sheet of paper, and this bill does not do that. Rather than reform, it merely makes some changes at the margins, and it seems to be the case that it will jack up the price for people to do business in this town, if they are in the hospitality business.

The front page of the Canberra Times this week, on 24 August, carried a story about a 40-person melee in Civic on the previous Saturday night. It reports that six police were injured and that six paddy wagons were in attendance. Mr Corbell would have us believe that his liquor reforms, as they currently stand, will address that kind of problem in our community, but, apart from creating a whole lot of bureaucratic processes for liquor licensees and a few offences and significantly increased licence fees, this bill will not achieve its stated and wished for end.

There are a few reasons for this, Madam Assistant Speaker. One of the major reasons is that the bill really fails to place much onus on consumers to take responsibility for


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