Page 2320 - Week 06 - Thursday, 10 May 2012

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those circumstances. It would also have an impact on the convenience of other residents in terms of the local retail offer—whether they felt they could obtain alcohol at a local shopping centre or whether they have to go to another location. Whilst I appreciate what the committee is trying to say, I do not believe that the recommendation is particularly practical in that respect.

Recommendation 2, therefore, is perhaps more relevant. It is about whether the fee burden should shift, to a larger degree, towards small off-licence operations. It is important to remember that we are talking about small local suburban supermarkets—mum and dad traders who are already running their businesses on slender margins as they compete against larger retailers such as Woolworths and big bulk liquor discount outlets. For that reason the government will view this recommendation with caution. We will certainly give consideration to it, but it is an issue where some balance has to be struck.

Finally, the committee makes some recommendations in relation to the Liquor Amendment Bill 2012. I may need to be forgiven for having missed it, but my understanding is that the Liquor Amendment Bill 2012 has already been adopted by this Assembly. In this respect, recommendations 4 and 5 are effectively redundant in that the Assembly has already agreed to that legislation and the government has indicated its support for it.

The telling message from this inquiry is that the inquiry demonstrated that the setting of a liquor licence and fee structure is not a simple process. It is not a process where everybody wins. Some people do share a larger burden than others when it comes to liquor licence fees, and that will remain the case for as long as we have a risk-based licensing structure. But I thank the committee for their considered work and for the report they have presented today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Auditor-General Amendment Bill 2012

Ms Gallagher, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Health and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services) (10.52): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am very pleased to table the Auditor-General Amendment Bill 2012 and its explanatory statement. This bill implements the government’s agreed recommendations from the Standing Committee on Public Accounts inquiry into the Auditor-General Act 1996. Following the inquiry’s recommendations, the bill makes a number of changes to designate the Auditor-General as an officer of the Legislative Assembly, to clarify existing provisions that define the independent role of the

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