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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 28 October 2010) . . Page.. 5341 ..

in which to undertake the work involved and allow them the opportunity to develop a better informed and more consistent document. The amendment provides that the commissioner must not consider the application until the RAMP is submitted. This amendment aligns with the government’s transitional amendments in the bill in relation to the provision of any police certificates that may be required to be submitted with the application.

A period of grace of three months is provided, and, until the certificates are received, the commissioner must not decide the application. In this context, I am reminded also that the transition arrangements provide that an old licence remains in force until the application for a new licence is decided. The bottom line effect of this is that the applicants must still submit RAMPs by 1 March 2011, but the commissioner must not decide on the application until the RAMP is submitted. The safeguard remains; the requirement for submission of a RAMP remains. Applications cannot be decided until the RAMPs are supplied, and old licences remain in force in the meantime.

I will put that in context: all of these provisions come into play on 1 December this year. As the situation currently stands, licensees must put in a licence application and a slightly modified RAMP, a RAMP that is lacking some documentation which must be provided later. Once the licence application and the RAMP are submitted, the commissioner has another six months until the beginning of June next year to go through the paper process and approve the licence.

There is already a period of grace that the minister has agreed to in relation to the providing of police check information in relation to the licence. The RAMP is a fairly complicated piece of material, and I think it might be useful for the minister to actually sit down with a licensee and see what they have to do. I did this the other day with a licensee for a smallish venue, and they have to provide a huge amount of information. You have to remember, Mr Assistant Speaker, that once this RAMP is approved, it has the force of law. If the licensee varies from what is in the RAMP, he is in trouble and he risks voiding his insurance.

If the situation remains as it currently is, all the decisions that go into the making of a RAMP have to be ticked off by 30 November, which is five weeks from now. That is a very difficult process for people to go through. We have had a lot of discussion about the importance of RAMPs. We want them to be right. After licensees lodge them, the commissioner has six months. What we are proposing is that, in that six-month period, we give three months to the licensee and three to the commissioner. That would be a reasonable and a fair approach for the very many small business people in the ACT who are going through a very new process without a great deal of information early in the piece from the Office of Regulatory Services and from the government.

All of the information that licensees need only became available a week ago. In five weeks, they are going to have to provide all that information. Then the government gives itself a leisurely six months to sign off on it. The licensees cannot add to that after the drop-dead date of 30 November. What we are asking for here is some leeway for the licensee in the same way as we have got leeway for the commissioner.

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