Page 2240 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 1 August 2017

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our city a CBD that Australia’s capital deserves. We will develop people-focused residential areas and a range of urban renewal projects across our suburbs. We have introduced smoke-free public transport waiting areas to help make Canberrans healthier. We have committed to the ACT’s first container deposit scheme, which will start in early 2018. The Deputy Chief Minister has started the conversation across Canberra about the future of education in our city. And we are continuing engagement with communities on the future of public and affordable housing across the city.

In this place we have done what we said we would do to deliver a better Canberra. We have passed significant legislation to strengthen the government’s response to domestic, family and sexual violence. We have removed red tape to make our city’s nightlife more vibrant and safe. We have become the first jurisdiction to restrict access to lever action shotguns. And legislation to enable the smooth operation of light rail on our road network is on our agenda today.

The budget I handed down in June is progressive and responsible and is grounded by a strong and diversified economic base. The territory’s economy is consistently amongst Australia’s strongest. Our unemployment rate remains the second lowest in the country. One of the government’s proudest achievements is that we have got unemployment down and we have kept it there. People are continuing to come to our city because of secure, well-paid jobs. The census data that was released last month shows that long-term planning for growth in Canberra’s population is crucial in transport, in health, in education and in secure jobs.

Our long-term plans have also proven to bring short-term benefits. Two weeks ago, a report from Deloitte found our economy to be in a “sweet spot”, with strong population growth and job creation across all sectors of our economy. Our budget position is also strong, and this provides a firm basis from which confidence can grow. As outlined in the budget, we will continue our commitment to return to a balanced budget in the next fiscal year.

To continue to deliver for a better Canberra, the Assembly will consider a range of important pieces of legislation during the second half of this year. Community safety is at the heart of the government’s plans, whether it is through making our workplaces safer or through making our city’s bars and nightclubs better places for Canberrans to enjoy. Every child has the right to access education and every worker has the right to be safe at work. As a result, the Deputy Chief Minister will bring forward occupational violence legislation that outlines our commitment to ensure staff remain safe at work within Canberra’s schools.

Problem gambling impacts people right across our city and we took a number of clear commitments to the election to reduce harm in our community. We are going to implement these policies. In separate bills, the government will seek to tighten the rules and the amount of cash withdrawn from EFTPOS machines in licensed gaming venues, following feedback from stakeholders. The government is not shying away from reform in this area. I repeat: we will not shy away from reform in this area. We will introduce legislation to support small and medium clubs to diversify away from gaming machine revenue, through tax rebates and grants to support investment in

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