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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 571 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

Premises used for the bulk storage or wholesale distribution of petrol, oil, petroleum products or other inflammable liquids.

You can go to any supermarket and buy all sorts of inflammable things in bottles, jars and plastic containers. But which of them are comprehended in this definition?

The schedule is not only unclear as to what in fact constitutes commercial premises; these are only examples anyway. So who, at the end of the day, defines what is or is not a commercial premises? I am not certain what the purpose of this is. I am sure that there are many businesses out there that consider themselves to be commercial operations but do not come within the descriptions given here. How do they know whether they are regarded as commercial premises or not? It is by no means certain which premises are commercial and which are not. Could the minister explain what the purpose of schedule 1 is, if it is so unclear as to what does or does not constitute commercial premises.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (11.49): I concur with the comments of both Ms Tucker and Mr Kaine in relation to this. I understand that the government's intention is to provide through the schedule a list of examples for the purpose of avoiding or overcoming potential ambiguity. But I take the point made by Mr Kaine and Ms Tucker--and I think it is well made--that the reverse could be the case: that you could actually generate greater ambiguity by having an incomplete list such as this that could potentially be used to exclude businesses rather than act as an aid to interpretation. So the Labor Party will support Ms Tucker's amendments.

Amendment agreed to.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (11.50): I now move amendment No 2 circulated in my name on the purple sheet [see schedule 1 part 1 at page 679].

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (11.51): While I agree with government amendment No 2, I think it would assist the debate--I know it is going to be long and perhaps a bit tortuous--if the Attorney attempted to give some justification for his amendments, for the sake of the record. I think it would facilitate debate.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (11.51): It is a technical amendment suggested by the Law Society. I just make that point for Mr Stanhope.

Amendment agreed to.

MS TUCKER (11.52): I move amendment No 2 circulated in my name [see schedule 2 part 1 at page 690].

This amendment deletes a subclause which appears to provide that, if some area of the premises is used for commercial purposes, the premises cannot be described as retail premises. It invites contention in court, and it offers no benefit overall. It could mean anything; it is very unclear.

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