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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 11 May 2017) . . Page.. 1752 ..

our city. Restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs do have a place in Canberra, but violence does not. I look forward to seeing further measures which address the impact of alcohol-fuelled violence, in not just our entertainment areas but also our suburbs and our homes.

Reducing violence in our community does not need to be about stopping good, law-abiding people from having an enjoyable night out. At the same time, we must recognise the legacy of physical and emotional pain that alcohol abuse can bring. The time has come for us to be smarter about how we go about solving these kinds of problems. I am pleased to support the bill this evening, on behalf of the Greens.

MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (6.20), in reply: I am pleased to speak on the Liquor Amendment Bill 2017 and I acknowledge and appreciate the comments of other members tonight. I also take this opportunity to present to the Assembly a revised explanatory statement for the bill. The explanatory statement has been revised to respond to the scrutiny committee’s comments regarding the human rights implications of the bill, and it provides some additional detail about a number of the provisions in the bill. I thank the committee for its consideration of the bill.

The amendments made by the bill follow an extensive process of reform and review of the ACT’s liquor laws, including significant and broad consultation with key stakeholders as part of the government’s ongoing work with industry, police, the liquor licensing regulator, public health advocates and the broader community. Tonight I do not intend to repeat in detail the matters that I outlined when introducing the bill, but I do wish to note that the bill gives effect to the government’s commitments as well as several other proposals on which extensive public stakeholder consultation has taken place.

As part of the package of reforms, we will be reducing liquor licensing fees for smaller, low-risk venues—that is, those with lower occupancy levels and earlier closing times. This government strongly supports the development of small businesses and unique boutique-style venues in Canberra. We know that this approach has already been shown to be effective in other Australian cities, and we are confident that the fee reductions will both support small businesses currently operating and promote the development of new and vibrant small venues.

This government has been looking for ways to make compliance easier and less costly and to ensure that licensees can operate efficiently and unburdened by unnecessary regulation. For example, the bill provides for the interstate recognition of the responsible service of alcohol certificates. As RSA principles across Australian jurisdictions are very similar, no safety compromises are made in making this change. This reform will make it easier for interstate wine, beer and specialty liquor producers to attend ACT events which will then have flow-on effects both for our community and for our economy.

The bill also includes several important reforms aimed at reducing alcohol related harm—for example, the creation of a statutory power for licensees and other

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