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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 December 2021) . . Page.. 3927 ..

have enforced the public health directions. This track record has given the committee confidence that new powers such as these will be used appropriately. The third reason is that this is a continuing pandemic and that hard decisions may still need to be made to protect human life. Recent reports of the Omicron variant illustrate that challenges remain.

Proportionate regulation to support social distancing has been an important element in protecting the public. The committee acknowledges that the bill is proposed with these aims in mind. The committee’s decision does not mean that these proposals are no longer subject to scrutiny. The committee can later examine their implementation, if required. If they become operational, the committee is open to receiving representations from the human rights and legal communities, as well as from fellow members. The committee can commence an inquiry if warranted. We anticipate that the ACT government will be similarly open to receiving feedback.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (11.05): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in relation to Auditor-General’s Report No. 8/2021, Canberra light rail stage 2A: economic analysis. I note the resolution of the Assembly made at its meeting on 7 October 2021 calling on the committee to consider and report on the issues raised by the Auditor-General in his report. The committee has resolved to inquire further into the report. Whilst the terms of reference for the inquiry will be the information contained within the audit report, the committee’s inquiry will focus specifically on the conclusions and key findings in the report, and the government’s response to the report and its implementation of the audit report’s recommendations. The committee will report to the Legislative Assembly on the Auditor-General’s report as soon as practicable.

Standing orders—suspension

Motion (by Mr Gentleman) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the adjournment debates on 1 and 2 December 2021 extending past 30 minutes and Members to be allocated 10 minutes speaking time each.

Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

Public Health Amendment Bill 2021

Debate resumed from 20 November 2021 on motion by Ms Stephen-Smith:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (11.07): The Canberra Liberals have received a briefing on this bill and are generally comfortable with its content and purpose. While we note the scrutiny committee has identified some technical issues with the bill, and these are not issues to be lightly passed over, we will not oppose the bill in its current form.

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