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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 1761..


MS DUNDAS (continuing):

ACT. But this positive initiative, which is definitely a step down the path of a society and a legal system free from prejudice, I am happy to support.

MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for the Arts) (5.46): On behalf of the Treasurer, I thank members for their support for the bill. I also thank members for their tolerance of the varied commitments as we have looked at the business of the day.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Postponement of executive business

Ordered that executive business order of the day No 2 be postponed to the next sitting.

Building Amendment Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 9 May 2002, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (5.47): The opposition will be supporting this bill-I have to confess with some lack of enthusiasm-given that this is clearly part of a larger scheme to assist the building industry in the ACT recover from what appears to be a crisis of sorts with respect to insurance. Full details of these arrangements are not apparent, I suspect, to any members of the Assembly at this stage, so the support that we give can only be partial and will need later on to be tempered by knowledge of the details of the scheme to be put in place by the government to provide for a fidelity fund to be established in this industry.

Mr Speaker, this bill was tabled last Thursday in this place. It is a fairly complex bill, but in another sense it is a generic bill-a bill that provides a shell for the establishment of fidelity funds in the building industry. It is the vehicle for other specific pieces of administrative action; it will provide a means of delivering a particular organ for a particular purpose.

The presentation speech makes reference to creating a framework for a supplementary form of building warranty to meet the needs of the ACT building industry. The intention, in that respect, is to provide, I quote, "an alternative to insurance that will provide similar consumer protection".

All of us are aware, from reading the newspaper and discussing it with members of the building industry in the ACT, of the crisis facing the building industry in Canberra. One of the two major insurance companies providing insurance in the ACT has apparently ceased to write business in the territory, and the business being written by the other is apparently being written very slowly, presenting problems of access for other builders in


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