Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1498..
included an evaluation of the administrative protocols and processes between ACT government directorates and an assessment of whether any of the legislative provisions need adjustment.
The Land Rent Amendment Bill 2012 contains a number of legislative amendments that will improve the operation and effectiveness of the scheme. The proposed amendments will maintain the principles of the scheme by keeping a focus on the desired end result, which is to provide greater access to affordable housing in the territory.
The key amendment is to widen the role of Community Housing Canberra in the scheme. Under the current legislation, CHC are only able to participate in the scheme at the standard or four per cent rate. CHC are recognised as an affordable housing provider in the territory and it makes sense that they are able to access the scheme at the discount or two per cent rate, usually available to lower income applicants, to achieve their broader objectives. Allowing CHC to access the scheme at the discount rate will allow them to offer a homeownership product to their tenants, with a target of transition from tenancy to full ownership.
The bill proposes that Housing ACT be excluded from accessing the scheme. For a government-owned agency, the government has more direct and transparent means available to provide finance and support for Housing ACT through the annual budget process.
A key principle of the scheme is to maintain flexibility and allow for changes in the individual circumstances of Canberra households. Under current legislation, households will only have the discount rate applied immediately if they can demonstrate hardship. The bill proposes that any delay in having the discount rate applied is removed. This would mean that all households who apply for the discount rate are able to access it from the date of application, should their circumstances change and they are assessed to be eligible.
The bill also contains other minor amendments in relation to the discount rate that will streamline processes and reduce the administrative burden on the ACT Revenue Office. The proposed amendments to the Land Rent Act 2008 are aimed at improving the operation of the scheme and will allow it to continue to provide a way for Canberrans to own their own home. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.
Human Rights Amendment Bill 2012
Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.20): I move: