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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 September 2015) . . Page.. 2979 ..

Turning to the Public Sector Management Act amendments, the bill creates Access Canberra as an administrative unit of government and enables the Chief Minister to determine the functions of Access Canberra and delegate responsibilities to the head of Access Canberra, who may further delegate responsibilities to other public servants.

Access Canberra has been established in the last year to attempt to funnel as many government approvals as possible into one government directorate, allowing it to then better focus on its customer service functions. It is unusual to legislate for a particular directorate. The Chief Minister has the power to make administrative changes to directorates as needed, including changing their names and the overall structure. This clause will enshrine Access Canberra by legislation as a business unit in our government structure rather than simply by administrative arrangements issued by a notifiable instrument. Time will tell whether this is necessary in the long run.

The Hawkers Act has been in place since 2003 and that replaced the 1936 Hawkers Act. The act regulates hawking or sales of goods in public places. This act covers the requirements for licensing hawkers, where they can sell goods, for how long a person can sell goods in one spot without a licence, exemptions and administration. In 2013 the Assembly passed the Public Unleased Land Act which governs how people can use public lands. This includes hawking, and thus there has been a significant overlap in the role of the Hawkers Act since the Public Unleased Land Act commenced. This bill does not seek to make substantial changes to hawking arrangements in the ACT; rather, it seeks to streamline legislative requirements into one single act.

Finally, the bill covers changes to the Workers Compensation Act by reducing reporting requirements so that employers need only report annually to their workers compensation insurers on their estimated wages rather than every six months. To ensure this does not have serious consequences for insurers in terms of them not knowing what companies’ liabilities are, employers will be required to tell insurers within 30 days if their annual estimate is incorrect by more than $500,000. The bill also adjusts the requirement for certificates of currency, to cover a 12-month period rather than a six-month period.

These reductions in regulatory requirements are all fairly minor; they are the types of changes that make sense in terms of red tape reduction. In terms of the changes to the public notice advertising requirements—perhaps the change of greatest public interest—I will be keeping an eye on how it rolls out over the coming years to make sure the community continues to be included as needed. The Greens will be supporting this bill today.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (10.46), in reply: I thank the Leader of the Opposition and Mr Rattenbury for their support of the legislation. This bill is indeed part of the government’s significant program of regulatory reform initiatives and removes a range of specific provisions that have been identified as redundant or unnecessary administrative burden to business or to government.

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