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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2085 ..

Mr Moore: It is No. 13.

MS REILLY: It is No. 13, with a star. Mr De Domenico, what analysis has been done to ascertain how many people there are for whom the town centres are the local shops? What are the consequences of forcing these stores to close early and what will the consequences be for these people, who must number tens of thousands and many of whom live where they do because they need to access a major supermarket late at night?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, as the Minister responsible for the policy in this area, let me say that I do not know when Ms Reilly arrived in the Assembly, but she may have come after the delivery of the social impact study which this Government commissioned and which was a very important tool in reaching our decision about the way in which we should be protecting local centres as part of the entire Canberra retail hierarchy. That made it very clear - not in a quantified sense, in the sense of the percentage of people in Canberra who use local shops - that significant numbers of Canberrans use local shops and, what is more, that a significant number of the people who use local shops are able to use only local shops because of access difficulties. People like the elderly, women without motor vehicles - - -

Ms McRae: What about the people who live near the Woden Town Centre?

MR HUMPHRIES: You might not care about these people, Ms McRae, but we do. People like the elderly, people with young children and without access to cars, and the handicapped are the people - - -

Ms McRae: What about the elderly who live near the Woden Town Centre?

MR HUMPHRIES: They will not have access to the town centre.

MR SPEAKER: Ignore Ms McRae. She will eventually ask a question, I hope, instead of interjecting all the time.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, it really shows a tremendously callous and uncaring approach by those opposite. Let them eat cake. If they cannot shop at their local centre, they can go to their local town centre. For many people that just is not an option.

Ms McRae: And for some people that is the only option.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, that is very rarely the case.

Mr Kaine: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. From the time that the Minister started answering this question, Ms McRae has carried on a constant discussion. Can you please ask her to be quiet and let the Minister answer the question?

MR SPEAKER: I have, and I will ask her again. She will have an opportunity to ask a question shortly. I call Mr Humphries to answer Ms Reilly's question.

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