Page 261 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012

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I am confident that these changes will help to support the racing industry now and into the future, giving the controlling bodies the flexibility to maintain a race field information charge scheme that is relevant to the local conditions. It is the government’s intention that this bill be debated in the February sitting for commencement on 1 March 2013. With the caretaker period, it has not been possible to consult the sector at the level of detail that would normally occur, though I do know that the racing clubs are very supportive of the bill’s objectives.

I will therefore be encouraging all interested parties to closely consider the details of the bill and provide any feedback to the government prior to its debate in February next year. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Public Unleased Land Bill 2012

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (10.32): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to reintroduce the Public Unleased Land Bill 2012 to the Assembly, which was introduced—as the Public Unleased Land Bill 2011—by the Chief Minister in December 2011, but which lapsed on the polling day for the 2012 election.

The Public Unleased Land Bill modernises the Roads and Public Places Act 1937, and seeks to improve the framework for regulating public unleased land in the territory. This improved framework is reflected in the change of name of the legislation.

The Roads and Public Places Act created a permit system for the use of public land. Throughout the act’s 75-year history, this permit system has been amended to the point where both businesses using public land and those public officials administering its use have agreed it has become unwieldy.

A major issue with the permit system created by the Roads and Public Places Act is that events and activities are, by themselves, not licensed to be held on public unleased land. Rather, event managers are licensed to place “objects” on public land. This has created a somewhat convoluted and confusing situation where, for example, event managers are not licensed to conduct a major festival but must be licensed to place the physical infrastructure—such as marquees, stalls and rubbish bins—on public land. With over 4,000 events being held on public land each year, this “objects” permit system has become administratively cumbersome and confusing to applicants.

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