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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (17 April) . . Page.. 1020 ..

MR DE (continuing):

I welcome Mr Wood's comments. I shared his concern when I first read the report, thinking that the process might be highly bureaucratic. But I assure Mr Wood that the Government has put in place a process that will not allow that to happen. There will certainly be no expansion of bureaucracy or red tape in order to attack red tape. I need to comment also on the fact that, whilst Mr Wood's comments were mostly positive, there seems to be a tendency towards negativism. It is probably contagious, with leadership changes and all sorts of things - - -

Mr Moore: Nervousness.

MR DE DOMENICO: There seemed to be even a nervousness in Mr Wood's usually very sensible comments; but we can excuse him for that because negativism seems to be contagious, depending on who the leader is.

Ms Tucker talked about competition being one of the major thrusts for the setting up of the Red Tape Task Force. I say that that was not the case. It was a firm and very public election commitment made by the Liberal Party prior to its being elected in 1995. I think we can say that another one of the promises has been delivered. I am also delighted that both Mr Wood and Ms Tucker did recognise and say that they both considered that red tape was a problem. Ms Tucker also talked about green tape. I can assure Ms Tucker that, through the excellent work being done by my colleague Mr Humphries, there will be no weakening of environmental protection as a result of any of the recommendations made by the Red Tape Task Force.

Ms Tucker also talked about voluntary compliance. With some of the things in the Territory Plan, the laws and regulations, and some of the environmental legislation that Mr Humphries has put on the books and is administering, there will be very heavy policing of voluntary compliance by the business community in terms of environmental protection. The ACT does not drag behind the rest of the world in terms of legislation for environmental protection. Nothing that the Red Tape Task Force recommends will alter that.

There were comments made about putting business first. My response to them is that we know that, notwithstanding which political party is in power federally or here, the main thrust of job creation in the Territory is going to have to come from the private sector. We note that there was very little done by our predecessors in enhancing the role of the private sector and in ensuring that it has the wherewithal to provide those jobs. Perhaps some of the recommendations of this Red Tape Task Force, when implemented, will make sure that employment opportunities in the Territory are expanded. Finally, Mr Speaker, I thank the members for their contributions to the debate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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