Page 4799 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 27 November 2018

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I take the opportunity to remind members that the committee has raised, a number of times in the past, the short time frames within which it is generally required to scrutinise bills. The committee remains concerned about the constraint on its ability to provide thorough scrutiny of bills with such tight time frames, which puts additional pressure on the legal advisers to the committee and the committee secretariat. In particular, I draw the Assembly’s attention to the fact that our scrutiny committee has some of the shortest time frames in the country.

On behalf of the committee, I thank Mr Daniel Stewart, the committee’s legal adviser for the scrutiny of bills, who has gone above and beyond to draft this report, and the committee secretariat for their extra efforts in the preparation of the report. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Environment and Transport and City Services—Standing Committee

Report 7

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (10.21): I present the following report:

Environment and Transport and City Services—Standing Committee—Report 7—Inquiry into ACT Libraries, dated 8 November 2018, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

This is the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services. In August the committee commenced an inquiry into ACT libraries. The committee received 84 submissions and heard from eight witnesses during a public hearing.

The report makes 14 recommendations for improvement in public library services in Canberra, including an additional library branch for the Molonglo and Weston Creek region, an electronic booking system for meeting rooms, and after-hours access through parcel collect lockers.

The report also recommends several changes to further strengthen the efforts of Libraries ACT to engage with the community and to be accessible and inclusive to a wide range of community groups with diverse needs, including that the upcoming Libraries ACT strategic plan be developed through a co-design process with the community.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank all the witnesses and submitters for their contributions to this inquiry. It was a privilege for the committee to read dozens of personal descriptions of the impact of libraries on people’s lives. It is clear that libraries are highly valued in the Canberra community and held in great affection.

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