Page 2291 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2016

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Traders (Licensing) Bill 2016

Debate resumed from 8 June 2016, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (10.50): The opposition will be supporting this bill. As described in the explanatory statement, the objective of this bill is to provide more efficient administration for the licensing of traders whilst ensuring that such licensing supports regulatory actions and maintains the public interest. The bill is aimed at consolidating the core licensing provisions from four fair trading acts.

I understand that it is the intent of the government that the bill will then serve as model legislation for existing and future instances of fair trading licensing obligations by allowing the integration of other fair trading licences into this act, once enacted, in the future. It is my hope that these changes do indeed make it easier for individuals and businesses, specifically in the motor vehicle dealer and repairer, second-hand dealer and pawnbroker industries, to apply for, renew and maintain their licences.

My reading of the bill indicates that the real benefits for these businesses will be the ability to ensure that information provided on their applications for licences will be captured once and stored, removing the need for these businesses to repeatedly resupply the same information over and over again in renewing or expanding the scope of their licences.

While the bill purports to cut red tape for business—and I note that there is an increase in the duration of licences for businesses and anticipate that this bill will go some way in providing some relief for local industry—it is worth noting that currently it will apply to only three business sectors and that in large part their licensing requirements are being transported into new legislation rather than arrangements actually addressing the scope of licensing in totality.

I will also reiterate my belief that these measures being introduced by the government will assist in reducing red tape to some extent with business but that the greater benefit of this is largely for the benefit of the bureaucracy and the public service in administering these licences going into the future. That said, though, it is a step in the right direction, and we support any initiative that aims to streamline the current onerous requirements placed in front of businesses seeking to operate within the ACT.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.53): I am pleased to support the Traders (Licensing) Bill before us today.

Since its establishment, Access Canberra has been consistently driving reform in the ACT to create a regulatory environment that fosters economic growth and business confidence while also protecting the community and ensuring public safety. This bill contributes to Access Canberra’s vision of becoming a leader in providing customer services and supporting a regulatory environment that fosters economic growth and a safe, sustainable, vibrant community. The bill assists Access Canberra’s commitment to have a one-stop shop customer experience, providing businesses and individuals with faster, simpler and smarter methods for accessing government services.

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