Page 2918 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 24 June 2009

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whilst deeply parochial and Victoria centric, has recognised Canberra’s emerging bar, nightclub and hotel scene and interviewed the manager of Braddon bar Knightsbridge Penthouse, Sebastian Costello. The Age reported last week, on June 16:

Costello, 27, has worked in hospitality for almost a decade and says Canberra has finally come to terms with its small city status.

“A few years ago it was trying to convince itself that it was not a country town,” he says.

Now Canberra has embraced the small town vibe, and its population of 340,000, often transient students and public servants, have plenty of places to share a drink.

The Manager of Hippo, Ren Deane, told the Age, “Canberra’s definitely hipper, there’s no doubt.”

The work of the Australian Hotels Association of course goes beyond the annual awards season. It is one of the ACT’s largest associations and represents many of the ACT’s restaurants, cafes, bars and taverns, educational institutions, liquor stores, nightclubs, convention facilities and accommodation hotels. These businesses are sometimes small local operations or part of some of the largest multinational chains operating around the world. But all these businesses, no matter what their size or hospitality sector, all face the same challenges, and government regulations have a significant impact on their operations.

The AHA ACT is their voice to government. Legislation and regulation have a direct impact on the hospitality industry. The areas of industrial relations, liquor licensing, transport regulation, training and tourism are of direct interest to the association and its members. Issues as diverse as late-night taxis and development approval processes impact the membership of the AHA. The AHA has a close relationship with the Legislative Assembly and government and works hard to ensure that industry and government are working in harmony. The association also provides its members with training, expert advice in industrial relations and other directly relevant matters, and insurance.

In conclusion, I again congratulate all award winners and commend the association for all the work it does to ensure a vibrant and responsible hospitality industry in the ACT.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 6.20 pm.

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