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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2646..


DR FOSKEY (continuing):

My concern is that what we get with national standards is the lowest common denominator. The ACT was a leader and prided itself on it. How can you congratulate yourself for reducing your energy efficiency ratings, which is what we have just done? It would have seemed to me that it was a no-brainer. Why don't we be a leader? Why not?

Retirement villages

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Electoral Lobby

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.06): Recently a considerable number of constituents have contacted me and expressed their concern in regard to a number of issues in relation to those living in retirement villages in the ACT. People living in retirement villages in the ACT are not protected by the same legislation that exists in other jurisdictions. Instead, in the ACT, residents and operators are subject to a retirement village code of practice which is subordinate legislation under the Fair Trading Act.

The code is mandatory under the Fair Trading Act. However, it is limited in its scope, compared to what other legislation is available in other jurisdictions, and does not offer the same level of protection to residents and operators alike. A number of people who are currently living in retirement complexes have expressed their concerns in relation to the lack of protection surrounding dispute resolution, communication between residents and operators and the rights and responsibilities afforded by the code of practice.

In response to their concerns and other issues that have been raised with me regarding the fact that the ACT does not have in place separate retirement village legislation, I began to explore what is in place in other jurisdictions. Other states and territories have acted to implement retirement village legislation and my research indicates that their legislation covers the areas of most concern and interest to stakeholders, that is, rights and responsibilities of all parties, contracts, disclosure of information and dispute resolution.

Consequently, I am currently consulting with stakeholders that would be affected by any change, that is, residents, prospective residents, managers and owners of retirement villages and relevant peak bodies, through several forums across Canberra and through written submissions. These forums start on Friday, with the first one to be held in the reception room at the Assembly. Others will follow in Belconnen and Hughes, and other locations by specific request. Following this consultation, I intend to table a discussion paper in preparation for the introduction of legislation by the Stanhope government at a future time.

Also, I will talk about a very important event that happened this afternoon upstairs in the exhibition room. That was the declaration of the polls for the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Electoral Body. Thirteen candidates stood for election and I would like to congratulate the following people who were declared elected this afternoon: Rod Little, Dianne Collins, Paul House, Fred Monaghan, Terry Williams, Lynette Goodwin and Roslyn Brown.

As we know, the elected body is being established to ensure that local Indigenous people are better served by the ACT government's policies, programs and services. It


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