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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2322 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

addressed in an open way, where can they go? I feel confident that we have acted appropriately in this process.

Mr Hargreaves spoke about a charge that he may have not been fair. I believe that he was fair in the inquiry. He did not display bias in how he operated within the committee, in the deliberation process and so on. I am quite happy to say that on the record. I can understand why there could have been impressions otherwise. I think there were some rather unfortunate public statements in the media which raised legitimate concern in the community.

We conducted this inquiry under a lot of time pressure. We were also conducting another inquiry into the size of the Assembly. We had time limits on both those inquiries, on this one in particular because of the implications for the industry. If there is to be a change in regulation, they need to know for their purchasing of fireworks and so on.

We did not inquire into certain aspects, particularly the environmental impact of fireworks, as much as I would have liked. We received some evidence on environmental impacts. Some evidence contradicted other evidence. We asked for further information from the government authorities-Environment ACT, Customs and AQIS. The answers we got seemed to me very unsatisfactory. There did not seem to be a whole lot of knowledge. If there is, we did not get it. I do not think we pursued that as far as we could have. We have flagged that we want to see more work done on it. I will be watching that with close interest.

The committee report come up with a reasonable compromise on the concerns that were expressed to the committee. Social issues related to the use of fireworks, both positive and negative, were taken into account in our recommendations. I believe it is very important that the government and the Assembly keep an eye on how our recommendations on the safe use of fireworks work. We may well have to look at this issue again and look at further regulation or even a ban if these recommendations do not deal with the problems in a reasonable way. It is clear that there are problems. But I am hopeful that it is not an impossible task. The recommendations we have made, if followed up with commitment and resourcing from the government, could result in a satisfactory situation for everybody concerned.

Finally, I would like to thank fellow committee members, Rod Power, the clerks and all the people who put submissions in to this inquiry. The amount of time that was put in by particular members of the community was extensive. A lot of work was done. Submissions were thorough. I appreciate that. Without that willingness and the work being put it, it would have been much more difficult.

Mr Hargreaves alluded to the fact that I did not have experience in explosives. This is true. I cannot say I am an expert now. Patience was required by all of us in this committee inquiry, I would suggest. We all had lots of opportunities for personal growth. I do not think you are on your own there, Mr Hargreaves. I especially acknowledge the pressures the secretary was under in putting this report together.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell ) adjourned to the next sitting.

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