Page 1217 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2015

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MS FITZHARRIS: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, how is Access Canberra supporting organisers with planning and approvals for events?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Fitzharris for the question. The government certainly recognises that public events make a substantial contribution to our economy and to the lives of our community. So I am very pleased that the changes the ACT government has implemented in relation to Access Canberra have delivered significant benefits already and will continue to do so in the future.

The summer of major events we have just experienced gives us an opportunity to create a series of lasting legacies for our city: an improved public image, enhanced reputation in the marketplace, community pride, and of course long-term economic development. Our events strategy is working. It is guiding investment into event infrastructure and investment in supporting, hosting and delivering major events for the city. Major events are not just a priority within the Tourism and Events portfolio; they are a priority for the government as a whole.

One of the reasons I created Access Canberra was to make it easier to hold events of all levels and scale across the city. Access Canberra takes the lead to make it easier for event organisers to organise their events and present a seamless experience when working with the territory government. Event organisers have a single point of contact with government, coordinated approvals and simplified application processes.

Regulations are important things. This place often calls—in fact, regularly calls—for more regulation. Regulation is important because it keeps us safe in our homes, in our workplaces, on the roads and in our public spaces. But that does not mean that we should require people who want to do something positive for the city to run all across town, seeking approval from multiple regulators. It does not mean we should force businesses to balance worthy but at times disconnected and sometimes contradictory rules that get in the way of getting events off the ground.

Access Canberra is a solution to these problems. It brings all of the regulatory functions together in the same place. It makes sure that our regulators are working together with business to get the best outcome for the community. It gives our regulatory agencies the opportunity to work together, to think through the various issues and challenges that are presented to them and to come up with workable solutions that can make events in our city a great success. Event organisers and businesses in the city can now spend much more time doing what they do best, which is showcasing their events and making our city a more vibrant and exciting place.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Chief Minister, are there examples of events Access Canberra has helped Canberra’s business and community sector to organise?

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