Page 3456 - Week 09 - Thursday, 20 August 2009

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launched their misleading and completely disingenuous assault on the hard work of our firefighters, land managers and nature conservation staff who are doing the work on the ground to make sure that this city is well prepared for what will be a serious and potentially dangerous bushfire season.

It is time for the Liberal Party, and Mr Smyth in particular, to grow up. I know it is a big ask. I know that I am probably hoping for the impossible, but at the end of the day this is a serious issue for the Canberra community and it deserves a serious debate, not a flippant one, not a misinformed one and certainly not the uninformed one that we are getting from those on the other side of this place.

Work safety—regulations

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations and relates to the work safety regulations. Minister, in drafting the work safety regulations, what evaluation did you undertake as to the impact of the regulations on the capacity of small businesses to comply efficiently and with the least possible cost?

MR HARGREAVES: As I said the other day, that is a good question, and this is another good question. That is two in the session, which I am absolutely staggered about. It is such a good question that it really deserves a detailed answer. I would like to take the opportunity to include medium businesses and micro businesses as well. I think that is an issue that is relevant.

Mr Hanson: “I don’t really know what I’m talking about here, but I’ll ramble on for a little bit longer.”

MR HARGREAVES: You can plug your iron lung in, mate, it’s just underneath you at the back. Knock yourself out. Knock yourself out. The clown prince of the other side. Good on you, Colonel Hogan. Knock yourself out.

Opposition members interjecting—

In attempting to answer Mrs Dunne’s question it is like trying to get above a howling gale—the operative word being “howling”. I am trying my best under dreadful circumstances, Mr Speaker. No, I think I will not. I will take it on notice and come back to her.

Mr Seselja: He doesn’t know.

MR HARGREAVES: No, I’ll just make you wait a couple of weeks, that is all.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary question?

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, can you tell the Assembly now what your government is doing to allay the concerns of small businesses that compliance with the procedural requirements of the regulations will create inefficiencies and cause them excessive costs?

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