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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3955 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

ACT retail market, taking into account the current retail hierarchy, the Government's proposals as outlined in Striking a Balance, employment impacts, the appropriate level of retail space, remission of betterment and other incentives to assist with the revitalisation of neighbourhood shopping centres, shopping centre management, rent inequities, domination of the market by large retailers and any other related matter.

In considering the issues, Mr Speaker, the majority of members of the committee determined that we would look at what studies had been done and how much work had already been done on these issues. Our general conclusion was that we would look very briefly at each of the issues. I draw members' attention to points 25 and 26:

The Committee is divided on the Government's initiative in this area.

Two members of the Committee (Mr Moore and Ms McRae) consider that the key studies that, according to the Government, led it to decide on restricted trading hours for supermarkets in town centres do not actually support the Government's position.

We were talking about the Ibecon retail study, Hyndes's review of trading hours and the social impact assessment of retail changes. Ms McRae and I came to the conclusion that there would be very little to be gained by this committee continuing the process of looking at the whole range of issues before us because the committee was so divided on the matter. I think the position in some ways is described by Ms Horodny in her dissenting report. If the fifth paragraph of Ms Horodny's dissenting report had been basically all that she had written, I probably could not argue with her. She said:

Instead of examining these eight points, the other Committee members chose to use the Committee's inquiry mainly to resurrect the retail trading hours issue despite the many hours of debate on this topic in the Assembly, and despite the fact that the new retail hours have only been in effect since 9 September 1996. This is hardly sufficient time for the effect of the retail trading legislation to be fully observed, and thus unable to be effectively reviewed by the Committee at this time.

Although I do not quite agree with her, I would have to accept that as a valid criticism. However, Ms Horodny went much further than that and, I think, really tested the bounds of what is appropriate. She stated quite early:

This inquiry was initiated by the Greens in the context of the debate over the Government's Trading Hours legislation.

That is absolutely true. At the time, I indicated in the Assembly that it seemed to me that the decisions had been made and this was the Greens then initiating this kind of inquiry: "We have made our decision, now let us have an inquiry into it". It was much too early and entirely inappropriate. I accept, Mr Speaker, that the Assembly made a decision on that. On page 6 of the report, the second page of Ms Horodny's dissenting report, she said:

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