Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 627 ..
MRS CROSS (continuing):
limitations be placed on this power, and makes the suggestion that perhaps there be a minimum requirement that the person whom the chief executive appoints at least be a public servant.
Mr Speaker, I am interested to hear from the government what their views are of the scrutiny committee's recommendation. I think officers who inevitably may have power to affect people's livelihoods should not only be properly and duly authorised, but also qualified in that regard. I look with interest to what the minister will contribute to this aspect of the debate, and will therefore be giving my qualified support to this bill.
MS TUCKER (12.25): The ACT Greens will be supporting this bill, which more or less recasts the existing regulations covering hawkers, in a more transparent manner, whilst surrendering the consumer protection function of the previous act-the ACT and Commonwealth consumer protection laws. This bill is another product of the competition policy review process. It had its genesis in the review of the Hawkers and Collections Acts, which was completed in April 2000.
Since then, there has been considerable consultation with the established hawkers in Canberra, and with businesses, resulting in the bill before us. One of the key features of the recommendations of the review in the subsequent bill is that it does not attempt to cover protections and regulations governed by other Acts. So issues of employment safety and consumer protection revert to police, WorkCover and so on.
There are two key recommendations of the review which the government has not adopted. One of those recommendations was to drop the 180-metre exclusion zone which militates against hawkers setting up outside shops for more than 30 minutes. I do not know how long Urban Services anguished over this one. Perhaps not at all, but it is certainly a pragmatic and non-controversial position that seems to have the agreement of the existing hawkers and businesses.
If we had chosen to abandon that, we might be facing a deal more hostility, for no good result. I am pleased, however, that the process of applying for exemptions to this exclusion zone is simple-that the minister, in making a decision to grant or reject an application, needs to make those reasons public, and that any exemption would be disallowable in the Assembly, so we have transparency and a simple process.
The review also recommended that this bill have coverage of the sale of goods, but not services. This bill does in fact incorporate services, and so technically will govern windscreen cleaners at traffic lights. Of course, while most windscreen cleaners are in a place for more than 30 minutes at a time, if there were an attempt to get them to take out standing licenses, they could adjust their behaviour to something approaching 30 minutes at any particular location.
The real elements of control, with regard to safety and so on, will remain in the hands of the police. I understand from government officers that there is no intention, at this stage, to make any changes to their present arrangements.
We raised some concerns about political and social activists selling badges and carrying on other street-based activity. The prompt response from the department, in itemising the