Page 1566 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 May 2017

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MS BERRY: I have been describing for some time now the salt and pepper approach to public housing in the ACT. It is described as public housing being available in every suburb across the city. That is the salt and pepper approach that the government is delivering.

Liquor Amendment Bill—reforms

MR STEEL: My question is to the Attorney-General. Minister, what impacts will the Liquor Amendment Bill 2017 have on small cafes, family-owned restaurants and similar businesses?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Steel for his question. The reform package that the government promised to deliver has a suite of measures that are focused on small businesses. Not only does Canberra’s night time economy offer a wide range of great experiences for people who want a night out, but it also provides a wide range of employment and business opportunities for members of this community.

The liquor reform package will support business owners to focus on running their businesses, whether they are restaurants, cafes or boutique-style clubs, while ensuring a safe, enjoyable experience for customers. This will be achieved by a combination of fee reductions, red tape elimination and improved safety measures. Other changes will further assist hospitality business owners to maintain safety and ensure the responsible service of alcohol in their venues.

Small businesses have been very vocal in supporting these measures. One small venue owner in Civic was quoted in the Canberra Times on the importance of red tape reduction saying that, “As owner operators, we’re with customers and on the floor. We don’t sit in offices all day, so for us red tape is hours of extra work that needs to be done.”

Each measure in this package has been carefully assessed for its impact on small business in particular. Taken as a whole, the package will help promote a vibrant, safe and fun hospitality sector in Canberra. The government’s liquor reform package will mean more opportunities to do business and more opportunities for Canberrans to enjoy a night out.

MR STEEL: Minister, can you explain how the changes will affect people who work for these small businesses?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Steel for his supplementary. The red tape reduction and improved safety measures proposed in the Liquor Bill will do more than just improve the small business environment. If you work in hospitality in Canberra, there is a series of changes that will benefit you directly.

One example is that interstate responsible service of alcohol certificates will be recognised in the ACT, which means that hospitality workers with an interstate RSA can more easily gain employment in our restaurants, bars and cafes.

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