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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1288 ..

Service Stations - Closure

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning and Minister for Consumer Affairs, Mr Humphries. Lately, there has been a lot of community concern, from both the small business fraternity and consumers in Belconnen, about oil companies' proposals to close down service stations and convert them to other uses.

Mr Berry: Who started that, Harold?

MR HIRD: I heard Mr Berry interrupt my question. As a matter of fact, he did not start it. Indeed, the Liberal Party did in 1991, so do not interrupt. Do not shoot the messenger, because it will upset you. The change of purpose is for new usage as shops, offices or housing. What is the Government doing to ensure that local communities retain access to the service stations in our neighbourhood? I further say, as Mr Berry interrupted, that he is always on about doom and gloom, but he never talks about what he is going to do for the small business person.

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Hird for his question, and I acknowledge his longstanding interest in the future of those service station owners in the Territory, particularly in his own electorate of Ginninderra, who have expressed their concerns about the trends in ownership and use of petrol station sites in the Territory. The Government has two aims in its approach on this question. One is to ensure that we have the most competitive petrol market we can possibly organise. The second is that we should ensure that people have reasonable access to petrol in their local community. That is why I would say, Mr Speaker, that - - -

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, this question, I think, is out of order on two grounds. First of all, it anticipates debate, because there is a matter in relation to service stations on the notice paper, which I placed there. It also asks the Government to announce policy in relation to the matter, and I think that puts it out.

MR SPEAKER: Could you tell me where it is on the notice paper, Mr Berry?

Mr Berry: It anticipates debate clearly, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hird: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: I would draw your attention to standing orders 61 and 37; and, if you really want to go to the bottom of the barrel and take action, use standing order 202.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Mr Humphries, I would refer you to page 560 of the notice paper, motion No. 19.

Mr Berry: You can bring that on for debate and agree with it. That would sort the matter out.

MR HUMPHRIES: We already are.

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