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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 899 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

finalisation of outstanding claims for the weapons compensation scheme. The other section 17 instrument relates to the business, employment, tourism, the arts, regulatory reform and industrial relations part of the former BASAT. The variations sought by the department are an increase to the Commonwealth grant relating to the provision of support to business through the AusIndustry program and an increase to the Commonwealth grants relating to the Regional Arts Fund. Mr Speaker, I commend the papers to the Assembly.

Exposure Draft and Draft Explanatory Memorandum

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (3.55): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the exposure draft of the racing legislation, which includes a draft explanatory memorandum. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

Mr Speaker, the development of legislation to control and administer racing in the Territory represents a significant milestone in the history of the racing industry in the ACT. Since racing first began in the ACT region, it has been under the control of New South Wales authorities. ACT racing clubs in all three codes - that is, thoroughbred, harness and greyhound - have been subject to New South Wales control in administration and conduct of racing in the Territory. For some time the Government has been developing a legislative framework for the control and administration of racing in the Territory. The proposed legislation will set the framework for the day-to-day control and administration of racing in the Territory and lay the legal platform for ACT racing clubs to become members of their peak national bodies, thereby giving the ACT racing industry an independent voice in the future direction of racing in Australia.

The provisions of the draft Bill are based on the policy directions which were endorsed by the racing industry in mid-1997. We have now reached the stage where further industry input into the legislative process is required. As part of that input, the provisions of the national competition policy agreements also require all new legislation which may contain restraints on competition to be subject to a public interest test prior to enactment. The Allen Consulting Group has been employed to undertake the public interest test. As the racing industry stakeholders will be particularly interested in contributing to the public interest process, I have decided to release an exposure draft of the Racing Bill 1998 to facilitate this. The proper conduct of the public interest test will ensure that any issues associated with the Bill are drawn out and will allow the industry stakeholders to contribute to the process by completing the legislative package. A copy of the exposure draft and explanatory memorandum has been provided to each member of the Assembly. The early release of the draft Bill was designed to assist and expedite the public interest test process and ensure that all members were aware of the Government's progress in this matter.

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