Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2417 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

I have consulted with petroleum retailers through the Motor Trades Association in the ACT, who strongly support the repeal of this Act. The MTA believes the repeal will allow service station operators more flexibility in negotiating future arrangements with oil companies. In the light of these factors, the Government proposes the repeal of the Fair Trading (Petroleum Retail Marketing) Act 1995. This will return the ACT to the position of other Australian jurisdictions and will allow a range of new multisite franchise and agency arrangements to evolve in the market. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope) adjourned.


MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.14): Mr Speaker, I present the Roads and Public Places (Amendment) Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR SMYTH: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this is a Bill to amend the Roads and Public Places Act 1937. It contains two important changes. The first change is to introduce a simple process for regulating moveable and temporary signs in public places. The sorts of signs that we are talking about are the sandwich board signs placed in shopping centres by businesses; the sale and exhibition signs placed in suburban areas by real estate agents; and the temporary event signs placed on roadsides and other areas by community groups.

Mr Speaker, the existing legislation is not working, because it is based on the approach of "you can't do it unless you apply for permission", rather than the approach of "you can do it if you follow the rules". My department recognises that there are benefits to the community in allowing this form of advertising. We also recognise that, without proper controls, moveable signs can affect the use and enjoyment of public places and can create obstructions and hazards for pedestrians and traffic. This Bill proposes a system which will allow moveable signs to be legally put in public places without the red tape of an individual permit system. The interests of the general community will be protected, because people who place signs will be required to adhere to a prescribed code of practice. A draft version of the proposed code of practice has been provided for the information of members.

Mr Speaker, the proposal does not represent a substantial change in current practice. The department has for some years been allowing moveable signs in public places so long as they complied with guidelines similar to those now being proposed as a code of practice. What it does is correct the undesirable situation we have at the moment, where we are allowing signs which are not strictly legal to remain in public places and where the party who is liable in the event of a claim for damages is not clearly identified.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .