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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2265 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

and Territory governments, might I add -

with the WA Government on November 29, 1994 rejecting the general trading hour deregulation option, for more localised seven days-a-week tourist-based trading zones ... For NSW, the question is whether the policy has gone too far to retrieve some sort of equity for the disadvantaged groups. The answer at this stage would have to be "Yes", since it is not currently an issue with the Labor Opposition leading up to the election in 1995.

The point is that there is a lot of agreement that the regulation of trading hours is a very basic part of this challenge. This is the challenge that Australia is facing. In all areas it is this discussion between the big businesses and not having the level playing field.

I also have to respond to some of the comments from Labor about the committees. Ms McRae made the stunning statement that she would not like the Government to have the benefit of the breath of sanity of a committee. So this is once again - - -

Ms McRae: No, a waste of effort.

MS TUCKER: Yes, let them fall on their sword; it does not matter what the overall conclusion or outcome is. I really thought, as Ms Horodny pointed out, that there was greater respect for the committee system than that.

Mr Osborne and Mr Moore have talked of good faith. To say that you will not support this committee reference on the broader issues because you do not get that one thing that you want changed is not a demonstration of good faith. Mr Moore and Mr Osborne have taken a line which shows absolutely no concern for the overall formation of a strategy to deal with this very important issue. They are prepared to say, "No, we just want you to give us what we want in this committee or we do not want a committee". Mr Moore himself wanted a committee on this issue at one point and, of course - - -

Mr Moore: I still do, but not with the outcome pre-empted.

MS TUCKER: Right; so we lose the whole lot because you have a disagreement on the importance of trading hours. So we lose the whole discussion. Fortunately we will not, because the Liberals are going to support it. The Labor Party had the opportunity to support the moratorium being included - they have acknowledged that retail space is an issue - but they will not support that because they are also scoring points and letting the Government fall and all that; so we end up with an outcome that will not be as good. I am very disappointed in that response. I hope that the committee, as it will be run now, will come out with some very good ideas to take this very important issue on in a way that is cooperative. That is certainly not going to be carried on in the political way that this response was.

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