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MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, this relates to a regulation amended under the Liquor Act in relation to the event that occurred on 19 March - the Food, Wine and All That Jazz event at the Canberra Festival. I should say that this being tabled today, with the capacity for disallowance, is of no meaning, given that the event has already been held. It would normally not be the wish of the Government to do this in such a way that the Assembly has no power to override those sorts of regulations. This occurred because there was no capacity for an incoming government to sit before that exemption had to be granted. In future, we hope to be able to give the Assembly more notice, so that there is not the need for this to be done ex post facto, if at all.
GOVERNMENT’S PRIORITIES AND AUTUMN LEGISLATION PROGRAM
Ministerial Statement and Papers
MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister): I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement on the Government's priorities for Canberra and the legislative program for the autumn sittings.
MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the dust has finally settled on the ACT election and it is time for the new Government to outline its direction. The next three years, more than any other period since self-government, are crucial to the future of Canberra. There are fundamental problems that must be faced now and opportunities that must be grasped today if we are to retain the enviable quality of life that others outside the ACT often decry. The inertia of the past is gone. We must go forward or be left behind by the rest of Australia.
On 18 February, Canberrans set the direction they believed their city and their government should take on the basis of the policies that were put before them. The message was as simple as it was unequivocal: What was wanted was a government that put the management of Canberra ahead of ideology. We will deliver that government, but it will not be easy and it will require openness and decisiveness.
Mr Berry: Council style?
MRS CARNELL: Yes. Hard decisions that should have been taken over the last six years will have to be taken now. I do not apologise for the tough talking that characterises my remarks today. The Government went to this election with a commitment to addressing fundamental problems in areas such as health and public transport. This approach has translated into a mandate to reform the management of our city and to ensure that those who need help the most actually receive it. This Government, unlike those before it, will be characterised by energy and by a will to get the job done. In just seven weeks we have acted decisively in negotiations with VMOs, in resolving the future use of Acton Peninsula and the Kingston foreshore, and in taking emergency steps to bring expenditure and staffing levels under control.