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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 9 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3690..


order could still be made. Again, I think each of those three central arguments has quite a strong counter point to it.

The last of the amendments to which I would like to speak briefly is amendment 7. This amendment inserts an example to provide clarification of the intent of section 97(2). In a letter to the Tenants Union the attorney described the intent of 97(2) to ensure:

... if there are two listings about a tenant relating to breaches of two different tenancy agreements, one being 3 years old and the other being 2 years old, only the former listing would need to be removed. The latter can remain in the database for another year.

It was our view, having seen the attorney's letter and reflected on the legislation, that this intent was not entirely clear from the bill or its explanatory statement. Our amendment seeks to provide the clarification sought by the Tenants Union. This is where I should highlight the revised set of amendments that I have circulated. We received feedback from the department in the earlier discussion that there was a part in that proposed example that perhaps muddied the waters somewhat. We have deleted the phrase that was suggested to be deleted in order to ensure that that was absolutely clear.

Those are the amendments we have put forward. I think they provide some greater clarity where it may not have been the case. It was interesting, when talking with the department, that they said, "But it's really clear."It probably is if you work on these things all the time, but we certainly feel there is some value in spelling this out in a few places. With regard to involving ACAT in the process of determining the amount of money owing, because of the potential consequences for the parties involved, particularly for tenants, it is valuable to have that neutral umpire involved in ensuring that there is a fair outcome in that process. I commend the amendments to the Assembly.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Rattenbury, you have moved them as a whole. Do you wish to divide them?

Mr Rattenbury: They were circulated as a whole, Madam Deputy Speaker. I felt it would be best to proceed that way. Other members may wish to divide the question.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.41): I think it would be useful to divide these amendments because they fall into three categories. Amendment No 3 is a stand-alone amendment and amendment No 7 is a stand-alone amendment. Unless I stand corrected, my understanding is that the remainder of the amendments—that is, Nos 1 and 2, Nos 4 to 6 and Nos 8 to 10—all relate to a definition of a listing person.

I said at the in-principle stage that the Canberra Liberals would support these amendments. I am not afraid to say that I have had a reconsideration of that. I had a discussion with Mr Rattenbury and Mr Corbell during the lunch adjournment. I listened very carefully to the arguments put by both members. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot support amendment No 3.


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