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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 13 Hansard (4 December) . . Page.. 4354 ..


Motion (by Mr Moore, on behalf of Ms Tucker), by leave, agreed to:

That order of the day No. 1, private Members' business, relating to the negotiations for an all of government agreement for the ACT public sector, be discharged from the Notice Paper.


Debate resumed from 20 November 1996, on motion by Mr Osborne:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (10.48): Mr Speaker, the Government will not be supporting the Bill. The Government will be putting forward an alternative, which it will put in place by way of regulation as from tomorrow, should the Assembly decide not to pass Mr Osborne's Bill. Mr Osborne's Bill, in my view, is an erosion of the retail policy already passed by this Assembly. Perhaps Easter trading will be next. The Government's alternative has been developed in consultation with the retail industry, and also takes into account the opening hours of the town centre malls.

Mr Moore: Not in consultation with the community, though.

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Moore will probably contribute about half an hour to this debate in the very near future.

Mr Osborne: This will get you elected, Tony.

MR DE DOMENICO: Should the Assembly agree not to pass Mr Osborne's Bill, the Government will announce tomorrow the Christmas trading hours arrangements for supermarkets in town centres. The exemptions would be Monday to Friday, 7.00 am to 10.00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 7.00 am to 8.00 pm - - -

Mr Osborne: How nice!

MR DE DOMENICO: It is quite nice, Mr Osborne. If you went out there and talked to the people you should be talking to, they would agree with this as well. Should the Assembly rationally agree not to support Mr Osborne's Bill, these trading hours will apply from Monday, 16 December, until Tuesday, 31 December. The trading hours are a reasonable compromise which will ensure that the town centre supermarkets will not profit excessively over the local shops during the festive season. The Government's proposal, we believe, represents an opportunity for town centre supermarkets to trade for extended hours in the lead-up to and just after Christmas, but it does not give an open mandate to town centre supermarkets to continue to drive local centres out of business.

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