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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 570 ..

In coming months the committee will make another announcement inviting submissions and identify other avenues by which the community can participate in the inquiry.

Statement by chair

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (11.01): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services for the Ninth Assembly relating to statutory appointments, in accordance with continuing resolution 5A. I wish to inform the Assembly that during the applicable reporting period, 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2018, the committee considered a total of seven appointments and reappointments to the following bodies: the ACT Cemeteries Authority Board, the ACT Veterinary Surgeons Board and the Tree Advisory Panel.

I now table a schedule of the statutory appointments considered by the committee during this period. I present the following paper:

Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services—Standing Committee—Schedule of Statutory Appointments—9th Assembly—Period 1 July to 31 December 2018.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 11 November 2018, on motion by Mr Ramsay:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (11.02): First off, I would like to thank Minister Ramsay, his office and the staff at JACS for their work on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018 (No 2). This bill is part of an ongoing body of work in reforming the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 that began four years ago when a review into the act was commissioned. It is unfortunate that this process has taken as long as it has, although I understand that there are only limited resources within JACS to progress this work and that this must be balanced against other work that is being done, including reforms to occupancy agreements for people who rent sites in caravan parks.

Canberra has less than a one per cent vacancy rate, and that is the reason for much of the power imbalance between prospective tenants and landlords. Clearly, this bill cannot fix the shortage of rental properties, but it can help by making the processes fairer for tenants without impinging unduly on the rights of landlords. That is one of the reasons that I am taking the opportunity to introduce a number of amendments that go beyond directly addressing the content of Minister Ramsay's bill and instead provide for broader reform of the Residential Tenancies Act.

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