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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2082 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, as Minister who has carriage of this matter in the place, I am not going to have this point - - -

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, he nearly got up then. Why don't you let him get up, Mr Humphries?

MR SPEAKER: If you do not sit down, you may very well be out.

MR HUMPHRIES: The selective quoting here is just breathtaking. Those opposite quote Mr Hyndes with approval but overlook the fact that Mr Hyndes actually recommended restriction of trading hours in supermarkets and in fact went even further than this Government has gone in recommending that group centres also be restricted. That is what he recommended. You cannot quote the bits of Mr Hyndes that you approve of and then attack the bits that you do not approve of. Mr Speaker, we accept that trading hours are not the only reason that supermarkets or shops generally in local centres have suffered in recent days. There are lots of other factors.

Mr Speaker, let me give the facts. Local centres particularly have been under severe pressure for a number of years. However, coinciding with the relaxation of trading hours in 1992, there has been a precipitous decline in the viability of a large number of local centres in this town. In fact, there has been a large number of closures of business - I think I quoted 126 before - in the last little while. It is not mere coincidence that that has happened in the last four years, coinciding with the relaxation of trading hours. The other factors that Mr Hyndes was referring to - things like the increased mobility of women, more people with two jobs, more likelihood of people moving to other supermarkets, and so on - have not happened just in the last four years. They are factors that have been progressively affecting the local market strongly for the last 10 years at least, probably the last 20. It is the change in trading hours in the last four years that has had the big impact. Mr Speaker, that is the basis of our decision.

Retail Trading Hours

MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr De Domenico. Could you inform this Assembly just what your ministerial responsibilities are?

MR DE DOMENICO: I am delighted, Mr Osborne. In fact, they are so varied - - -

Mr Berry: He has to read them off his business card. He does not know.

MR DE DOMENICO: I actually can pick them up from my business card. I am glad for the interjections. I have been listening to the interjections, Mr Speaker, most of which of course I will not acknowledge. I am Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Regulatory Reform and Minister for Business, Employment and Tourism. I have heard Mr Whitecross and others use the word "coward". I suggest that if Mr Whitecross wants to know what the word "coward" means let him put up his leadership when all six members of the ACT caucus are available instead of squibbing out and doing it when there were only five there. Ms Follett knows exactly what I mean.

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