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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 10 May 2018) . . Page.. 1794 ..


MRS DUNNE: Minister, have you been asked by anyone in the construction industry or elsewhere in the union movement to conduct such an inquiry into the Work Safety Commissioner?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mrs Dunne for the supplementary question. Yes, a number of conversations have taken place in relation to the nature of WorkSafe in the ACT. Yes, it has been suggested that it could take place.

National Multicultural Festival—service of alcohol

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Minister, in January you told the ABC that the ban on community organisations selling alcohol at this year’s Multicultural Festival was “in response to feedback from stakeholders, including Policing”. In reality, ACT Policing’s concern was about commercial vendors with no cultural significance selling cheap alcohol, and their specific recommendation for limiting alcohol on the festival’s footprint was to support “alcohol sales that fall within a multicultural context” instead. Minister, were you aware of ACT Policing officials’ advice on this issue when you told the ABC that the ban was in response to their feedback?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I was aware that ACT Policing had provided advice—and that has been confirmed through the FOI—that they were concerned about the amount of alcohol that was for sale on the footprint and the level of intoxication on the footprint. I was not aware that ACT Policing had provided specific advice by email in relation to what would be a better way to limit licences. I was, I have to say, extremely disappointed to learn that that specific advice had been provided.

I think it is fair to say that in responding to the Policing and other stakeholder views in relation to the amount of alcohol available on the footprint, that advice was conflated with CSD’s decision on how this would best be undertaken. I did say in January that this was a response to concerns from stakeholders, including ACT Policing, about the amount of alcohol available on the footprint and in relation to responsible service of alcohol. Those things are both confirmed through the FOI and the CPO’s recent interview.

I did also say at the time that the approach that had been chosen and that was publicly known since August last year was perhaps not the best approach, and committed to revisiting that decision as part of the festival review. That is exactly what is happening now.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, why did the ACT government introduce an alcohol policy at this year’s festival that directly contradicted the clear recommendations from ACT Policing?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I do not know that that is an accurate representation. The Community Services Directorate and office of multicultural affairs introduced a

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