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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3250 ..

MS CLAY: Minister, can you tell me more about what the COVID activities are?

MR GENTLEMAN: During the COVID pandemic and the restriction of operations at AMC we have had to manage both staff and detainees in a COVID-safe manner. That means that we have had to look at opportunities to accommodate people in different areas of the AMC to ensure we can be COVID safe in the operational sense. The appropriate PPE has been issued to all staff where needed across the AMC.

I am very pleased with the way our new acting commissioner has been able to manage the situation. You have heard the recent reports that I have given about detainees and about staff in relation to COVID. He has managed it very well, and I am very pleased that staff have reacted well to the program.

Business—Better Regulation Taskforce

MR CAIN: My question is to the Minister for Better Regulation. Minister, phase 1—the discovery phase—of the government’s Better Regulation Taskforce was meant to report by 30 June but has not. Minister, speaking about the taskforce earlier this year, you said that one of the first and most critical initiatives of the discovery phase was “talking to business about how to talk to business”. Minister, when will this report be completed?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Mr Cain for the question. Early next year.

MR CAIN: It would have been nice if you had been more specific. How much was allocated in this report, and how much of that has already been spent?

MS CHEYNE: I will take the question on notice. The Better Regulation Taskforce was established in August 2020 as part of the jobs and economic recovery plan, so there was funding for staffing associated with that, but I will get the detail for Mr Cain on notice.

DR PATERSON: Minister, can you further outline what the Better Regulation Taskforce’s intentions are, and what work has been done to progress that.

MS CHEYNE: As I mentioned, the Better Regulation Taskforce was established out of the August 2020 jobs and economic recovery plan. It is a critical piece of work for us really to understand what the regulatory issues for us in the ACT are and where we can be supporting businesses to do business better. We have had a considerable number of engagements so far. I was quite surprised by the questioning, given that we covered this in estimates, but that does seem to be the theme of today. The task force does have a very big agenda and it has had a considerable number of workshops, including around the night-time economy and around procurement. It is also meeting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses to learn what we can be doing better to support them. The Better Regulation Taskforce has a critical role in working through a legislative review—again, seeing where we can tighten things up and make things a bit simpler or a bit more straightforward through our statute book. That work is underway, and I look forward to receiving it and being able to work with my colleagues right across the statute book.

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