Page 1360 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 9 April 2013

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MR COE: Minister, how many other duplexes in the ACT could also be listed as exempt developments?

MR CORBELL: It is not down to the nature of the dwelling, it is down to the nature of the work, as to whether development is exempt.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, what action have you taken to better manage this case and what have you learnt about this episode?

MR CORBELL: I have had correspondence with the affected party—that is, the residents of the still extant part of the duplex. I have indicated to them that there are a range of issues that are being pursued, and I have ensured that my officials have remained in ongoing contact with them to assist them in resolving what is a difficult and complex matter.

Small business—red tape

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development. The latest Sensis business index noted that support for the policies of the Australian Capital Territory government among Australian Capital Territory SMEs fell, with SMEs concerned about the level of bureaucracy in the territory. Minister, why is it that, even with the red tape reduction panel, local small businesses are still finding red tape an issue in the ACT?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Wall for the question. I understand that same survey showed the greatest increase in confidence of the small business sector in the ACT of any state or territory in the country. So we see a pleasing result. I note that in the comparative analysis of the views of small businesses on respective state and territory governments the ACT fared relatively well—much better than a number of conservative-run jurisdictions that you might anticipate would be more heavily favoured by that particular constituency.

I acknowledge there is further work to be done. The red tape reduction task force will continue its work. Focus in coming months will be working with the club sector, with the real estate industry and also with our universities in relation to red tape reduction.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, since its establishment, how much red tape has the panel identified and how much has actually been removed?

MR BARR: Work has focused particularly on licensing issues. To date we have made some assessments in relation to further reforms of licensing within the territory, particularly taking a risk based approach, extending the terms of particular licences. There is work underway to allow for the electronic lodgement of rental bonds. That is something that has been very strongly supported.

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