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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3699..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

both in a physical sense and in a relation sense with their neighbours, I think, shows the degree of discomfort that the government has concerning this bill. And I think it is most unfortunate that he has treated it in that way.

The government has made much of the fact that there are some late changes that the government has made; they are not going to go ahead with certain bits; they are also going to omit a couple of clauses. But the fundamental reason for addressing the bill is still not there—that we have some sort of meaningful dispute resolution. This morning, for instance, and in a previous sitting week, we have talked about dispute resolution; we have talked about circle sentencing; we have talked about not taking people to courts and not getting people caught up in tribunals. Yet, all this bill allows for is exactly that.

Where is the situation where you can go to mediation? Where is the situation outlined in this bill where you can resolve these things that—

Mr Barr: It is in the ACAT legislation.

MR SMYTH: It is in ACAT? You will get your chance in a minute, Mr Barr. You can speak to it then. People do not understand this and they are confused by the bill that you have put before us. When you have got almost 30,000 people affected by this directly, then I think it is worthy that we should get this right.

The main problem is that most people do not understand why the government is ramming this through. The problem for many people is that they have read this bill and they are confused by it. And they are confused by the fact that the consultation that they thought would deliver them a better outcome has simply been ignored. The simple point we would make is that when you look at, for instance, how somebody might become eligible to manage a unit title, it is so unclear and has not been addressed by this government that, again, it can only lead you to the one conclusion: that this bill is so flawed that we should stop it.

The problem with doing it at this stage is that, of course, the government may have regulations ready to go and we have not seen the regulations. I would like an indication from the minister, when he speaks to close the debate, as to exactly when the regulations will be tabled. Is it their intention to put those regulations in place before the calling of the election? I think people outside who have watched this debate with great interest are most concerned to find out the exact timetable for when this bill will come into operation and what will be in the regulations. And it would be very pleasing if the regulations could be made public as quickly as possible so that there can be some consultation on them before they are tabled and promulgated.

This bill is so flawed, this bill is so inadequate, this bill fails every test of good legislation, the consultation process on this bill has been so flawed, the consultation process on this bill has been so inadequate and the entire debate that we have had has been so ignored by the government that the only reasonable thing to occur this evening will be for the minister to stand up and move that the debate be adjourned. And if he truly believed in representing his constituents and if he truly believed in equity, that is what he would do. But I do not believe that will happen. For that reason, the opposition will be opposing this bill.


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