Page 2256 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2022
She will bring considerable experience. Yes, there will be some change on the board, because she is a new member, as well as some continuity, with the former deputy chair having taken over as the chair, to manage CIT’s governing board during a particularly challenging time. I have a lot of confidence that they are doing that, with the actions that they have already taken to date.
MR MILLIGAN: Minister, when will you take action to address the CIT board’s role in $8.7 million of questionable contracts?
MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. As he well knows, there is an independent investigation underway by the Integrity Commissioner, and also involving the Auditor-General. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of that investigation, and the findings from that investigation. I will not be passing judgement. I will not be having a discussion in this place while that important investigation happens. I will not be interfering in that process while that investigation is happening.
Rental properties—minimum energy standards
MS LEE: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney-General, last week you flagged changes to minimum energy standards in rental properties, and other changes to residential tenancies. The consultation done on this showed that 59 per cent of landlords would increase the rent and 21 per cent would exit the rental market. Did you give any consideration to that feedback when developing this policy?
MR RATTENBURY: Firstly, let me clarify what the government put out for consultation last week. What is proposed in the bill is four particular areas of reform. The one Ms Lee is referring to talks about minimum standards for rental properties, and it creates a regulation-making power for that. The proposal for minimum energy performance standards is a subsequent proposal that the government has been consulting on. The current legislative proposal does not do what Ms Lee has just described. I was disappointed to see the Real Estate Institute of the ACT make a similar observation in their email campaign, where they have unfortunately conflated the two things. We will seek to clarify that with them.
In terms of the legislation that is out for consultation at the moment, it does seek to create that power. In terms of minimum energy performance standards, the government has also undertaken a consultation process on that. We have received considerable feedback. We are currently analysing that feedback and looking at what details we need to put in place to ensure that that standard will work effectively and fairly.
Let’s be really clear on what we are trying to achieve here at the moment. There are Canberrans who are living in houses that are not fit for them to live in, in freezing cold Canberra winters, in boiling hot summers, so that is why we believe—and certainly the research shows this—that the most cost-effective way to improve those performance standards, to help tenants have better quality of life and reduce their energy bills, is to look at some sort of minimum energy performance standard. That is what we are currently looking at. I look forward to sharing the details of that proposed scheme with the Assembly when the public service has finished analysing the feedback that we got, and when the cabinet has taken a final decision.