Page 926 - Week 03 - Thursday, 19 March 2015

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MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (11.53), in reply: I am pleased to debate the Public Pools Bill 2014, and I thank Mr Doszpot for his contribution to the debate. The Public Pools Bill 2014 will establish an administrative framework to support management practices for territory-owned public pools, and involves the repeal of parts 2 and 3 of the Public Baths and Public Bathing Act 1956.

This new administrative framework will provide modern, efficient and effective governance arrangements for the territory’s six publicly owned pools. These include the Canberra Olympic pool, the swimming pools in Manuka and Dickson, and pools at the Gungahlin, Erindale and Tuggeranong leisure centres.

I am sure that members of the Assembly here today will agree with me that our public pools provide quality facilities for all Canberrans. Access to safe and clean facilities helps our citizens to lead active and healthy lives, with residual health benefits for the whole community.

Public pools in Canberra are an important part of the history of our community and city. Many of you may recall for yourselves fond memories of summers spent in places such as Manuka pool. Over the decades of that pool’s operation, many Canberrans have enjoyed this facility in safety and with ease. That is precisely why the government has brought forward this bill for debate today. We want to continue to provide the public with a positive atmosphere and a safe environment in our public pools, now and into the future.

The bill will bring the administration of public pools into the modern era by providing new arrangements to support contemporary water safety standards set by the Australian Royal Life Saving Society. The amendments will also bring public pools into line with today’s workplace health and safety principles.

While public pools in the territory are currently managed to a high standard under facilities management agreements, these agreements will be better supported by the legislative amendments brought forward in the bill.

As the Minister for Sport and Recreation, I want to provide updated and less arduous administrative arrangements for pool operators and the government. Madam Deputy Speaker, as you know, red tape reduction is a high priority for this government. Red tape can interfere with innovation and service delivery, and of course create administrative inefficiencies.

Under this bill the territory will utilise a light-handed approach to regulation and in doing so reduce unnecessary red tape for both pool operators and officials. It will allow for innovation and changes in water safety initiatives to be addressed through a streamlined regulatory approach.

The new legislative framework set out in the Public Pools Bill 2014 will provide me, as the Minister for Sport and Recreation, and the Director-General of Economic

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