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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 837 ..

in our lifetimes this debate about being gouged at the petrol pump will be a thing of the past. Won’t that be a good thing for the environment, for cleaner air and for the cost of living for households?

Anzac Day—commemorations

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Veterans: Anzac Day is one of the most significant days of national remembrance in Australia and is coming up in a few days. Last year because of COVID our veterans for the first time in living memory were unable to hold remembrance marches. Minister, will marches be permitted on Anzac Day this year and, if not, why is that?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I will take that as Minister for Health, given that public health restrictions and directions are the responsibility of the Chief Health Officer. As I have indicated publicly, I understand that the RSL is the organiser of the march generally and the War Memorial is the organiser of the service and the event.

The RSL has been invited publicly by me—and I understand that the office of the Chief Health Officer has also reached out to the RSL to invite them—to talk to the office of the Chief Health Officer and the exemptions team if they are interested in holding a march. We talked about that a couple of weeks ago. It is obviously now getting very close to Anzac Day and it is probably too short notice now. But certainly the invitation has been there if they did want to hold a march.

There have been many exemptions given for outdoor events. We know the risk associated with outdoor events is significantly less than indoors. If the RSL had wanted to contact the office of the Chief Health Officer to seek an exemption for a march, that would have been looked on in a very positive light to see what the exemptions team could do in working with the RSL.

MRS JONES: Has the Minister for Veterans consulted with veterans groups concerning the overall Anzac Day preparations and veterans themselves, other than the veterans advisory council?

MS DAVIDSON: I thank you for the question. We have indeed had conversations with the Ministerial Advisory Council for Veterans and Their Families and there will be a Light up the Dawn event this year, as there was last year. People found the Light up the Dawn service—

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, the question asked by Mrs Jones was whether there had been any consultations with veterans organisations or veterans other than the veterans advisory council. The minister has gone to the point that she met with the veterans advisory council. The question is specifically in terms of consultations that occurred—

MADAM SPEAKER: You are getting into the question time and it was 20 seconds into the answer when you rose. The minister has time left. Minister.

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