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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 1 Hansard (12 February) . . Page.. 67..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Other legislation to be upgraded is the Unlawful Games Act 1984, which has become outdated and does not properly achieve the desired regulatory outcomes. This act, along with two associated statutes, the Games, Wagers and Betting Houses Act 1901 and the Gaming and Betting Act 1906, will be combined and completely redrafted following an extensive public consultation process. The revised legislation, the Unlawful Gambling Bill 2008, will remove ambiguities, update penalty provisions and, importantly, address the policy issues of tournament gaming, private or social gaming and charitable gaming.

Land holder duty provisions are to be strengthened and aligned with those of other jurisdictions by the Duties (Landholder) Amendment Bill 2008. Land holder provisions limit the scope for the avoidance of duty where the control of land is acquired through the transfer of units or shares in certain land holding entities rather than the transfer of the title to the land.

The program will also contain some key measures to meet priority challenges for the government such as helping more Canberrans access appropriate and affordable housing. The Land Rent Bill 2008 will provide a mechanism whereby prospective home owners and investors will be able to rent land from the government, rather than purchase it, thereby reducing the up-front costs of owning a house to those associated with the transfer of the land and the construction of the home.

Another proposed measure will ensure sustainable levels of household debt with new legislation to further regulate the market behaviour of ACT finance and mortgage brokers. It will introduce a licensing regime that will subject an applicant for a licence to probity checks and require the applicant to hold membership of an approved external dispute resolution scheme and to have prescribed educational qualifications or skills.

Importantly, the amendments will ensure that a broker will establish the consumer's credit needs and that the consumer can afford the credit for which any application is made. Disclosure to the consumer of the names of credit providers through which the broker can access credit, as well as details of costs for which the consumer will be liable, will also be required.

The government will also legislate to further assist those dependent on social housing. To this end, a regulatory framework for not-for-profit housing providers is to be established. The Housing Assistance (Amendment) Bill 2008 will allow the Commissioner for Social Housing to register and monitor the activities of housing providers. The framework will support the development of new not-for-profit affordable housing providers, as well as providing for the oversight of smaller community housing providers.

Another key issue facing the ACT is climate change. The Construction Legislation (Sustainability Measures) Amendment Bill 2008 will implement several initiatives agreed by the government and announced in the Climate change strategy—weathering the change. Specifically, it will deal with action items 19 and 20 of the strategy that relate to reducing energy consumption in buildings.


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