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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Review targets legislation loopholes

The ACT Government has announced an independent review into Territory laws in a bid to close discrimination loopholes.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the issue was highlighted last year following public discussions about an exception in the Discrimination Act that “may have allowed discrimination against students and staff in independent schools and educational institutions”.

“We acted quickly to ensure these protections were strengthened and now we want to make sure that any other areas where our laws might need to be updated or improved are identified and addressed as soon as possible,” Mr Barr said.

The ACT Government has allocated $25,000 for the review which will be completed this financial year.

Meanwhile, the community is also being asked to have their say on the Government’s LGBTIQ Strategy, due for release in June.

Equal access to services, understanding and awareness, equal rights reflected in law, open doors to participation, and inclusive government policy and service delivery have been identified as priority areas for improving LGBTIQ equality and inclusion.

Online consultation is now open and closes on 15 March.

For more information or to have your say, visit yoursay.act.gov.au

Views sought on fuel prices

A new committee investigating why Canberra drivers continue to be charged more for fuel is encouraging individuals and groups to share their views on ACT petrol prices.

The ACT Legislative Assembly passed a motion to establish the Select Committee on Fuel Pricing on 14 February.

The committee will inquire into how fuel prices are set in the ACT, the impact of escalating costs on Canberra drivers, and possible legislative or regulatory measures that could reduce the price of filling up at the bowser. They will canvass reasons for pricing discrepancies within the ACT and compared to other cities, while assessing the effectiveness of initiatives to reduce fuel prices in other jurisdictions. The committee will provide a final report to the Assembly in June.

Submissions to the committee are due by 5pm Monday 11 March.

To make a submission, email [email protected]; for enquiries, phone 6205 0199. More information can also be found online at parliament.act.gov.au

Pill testing gets green light

The ACT Government has given the go ahead for a pill testing trial to occur at the Groovin the Moo (GTM) music festival at EPIC in April.

ACT Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris, said that a second trial of pill testing will further contribute to the evidence base for pill testing both locally and nationally.

“The data that came out of the first trial was incredibly informative for health and emergency services. It provided information about the types of substances that are in the ACT plus it identified two potentially deadly substances in two of the pills submitted for testing,” Minister Fitzharris said. “Given the increasing interest in pill testing, we consider this trial to be of enormous value to the debate and deliberations about harm minimisation.”

Pill Testing Australia will run the trial. The ACT Government said there will be an independent evaluation as part of the trial, which will be made available to other jurisdictions.

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