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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . .

Page.. 1740..


Madam Assistant Speaker, as Mr Doszpot has foreshadowed, I have written to the Leader of the Opposition to advise of my intention to oppose at the detail stage three clauses of the bill which deal with capital items and capital maintenance, and I will speak further about those amendments at that detail stage.

As I said during the introduction, this bill proposes a number of very practical amendments to the Retirement Villages Act. It provides a balance between various stakeholder interests and will achieve a better, smoother system for all involved. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 29, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 30.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Corrections, Minister for Education, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs and Minister for Road Safety) (11.43): As discussed in my debate speech, I propose to oppose some clauses in the bill in response to issues raised since the bill was introduced. Submissions received during the recent review of the act suggested a need for greater legislative clarity on the issue of capital maintenance. The amendments were developed in consultation with a review advisory group of stakeholders, including representatives of residents and operators of ACT retirement villages.

Since introduction of the bill on 3 May some stakeholders have expressed concern about the scope of these amendments. It seems that the provisions in the act around capital maintenance have been interpreted differently by different retirement villages and that this may have contributed to these stakeholders' concerns.

In light of these concerns, I am proposing to oppose clauses 30, 31 and 61 of the bill, which will remove new section 24A of the regulation, which defines "capital maintenance", and the amendments to section 135 of the act, which were drafted to clarify the definition of "capital item". I take this opportunity to table a supplementary explanatory statement which explains these amendments.

I cannot but remark on the comments made by Mr Doszpot, and I was disappointed that he felt the need to make it political. The Retirement Villages Act is a very complex piece of legislation. That is why we went through a very extensive process of inviting submissions then establishing a review group comprising residents groups, industry players and other experts who did extensive work. What came out of that was essentially a two-stage process to this bill. The first was to pass the amendments we are discussing today and the second was to defer some items to a later date because they were so complex that they needed more time and more consideration.


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