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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 20 August 2009) . . Page.. 3457 ..

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I really think that what Mrs Dunne seems to be doing is suggesting that there are people out there in the business community who think that work safety and the economic viability of their businesses are interlinked. I do not actually see that. The simple fact is that the Work Safety Act is all about making sure that business is conducted safely and that the people who are engaged in those industries, be they micro businesses, small businesses, medium or large businesses, are all treated the same. A person working for another person is entitled to a safe workplace. To be quite frank, if we have to have regimes which actually ensure that, so be it. I am surprised that those people who put themselves up as being the champions of business would even ask such a stupid question.

Planning legislation—regulatory impact statement

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for Planning and concerns information being made available to the Assembly when changes to laws and regulations are proposed. In the debate yesterday on Ms Le Couteur’s water and sewerage legislation amendment bill, the minister argued:

No regulatory impact analysis has been tabled with this bill … it is not clear to me what level of consultation with stakeholders was undertaken in deciding on these dates …

Minister, what support does the government or ACTPLA intend to offer opposition or crossbench members to prepare a regulatory impact statement or is it now accepted government practice to oppose legislation by non-government members because it does not have a regulatory impact statement?

MR BARR: You can tell that you have touched a raw nerve when you get three snippy questions from the Greens in question time. Can I advise the member that of course government consideration of legislation and a requirement for a regulatory impact statement would vary depending on the nature of the legislation. When a piece of legislation as significant as we would all acknowledge was sought to be debated yesterday is brought forward without any consideration, it would appear, for the impacts of that legislation on a variety of stakeholders, it is incumbent upon the government—because governments have a responsibility. It is something that those opposite and the crossbench are always very keen to remind us of—that we have a considerable responsibility in occupying these positions as ministers, that we must take into account a range of factors.

In the context of the legislation that was put forward for debate from the Greens yesterday, it was the government’s view that it required more detailed consideration, that the full impacts of the Greens’ proposal had not been adequately discussed with industry, with retailers or with consumers and that there were impacts from this proposed change to the territory’s laws. That is why we have appropriate processes. That is why it was better, for example, rather than trying to make policy on the run yesterday afternoon with a range of last-minute amendments that the Liberals tried to circulate—that it would be appropriate for a more detailed consideration of the issues.

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