Page 4028 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 30 November 2022

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Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment Bill 2022

Mr Rattenbury, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong-Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (11.28): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce the Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment Bill 2022. This bill marks a significant step forward in meeting the commitment in the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement for the Tenth Legislative Assembly to remove no cause terminations from the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. Even more significantly, this bill proposes to remove no cause terminations without introducing end of fixed term tenancy terminations, which are essentially another form of no cause termination. In doing so, the ACT will be the first and only jurisdiction in Australia to remove all forms of tenancy termination without a cause. I am proud to stand in this Assembly today to present this important bill.

In addition to the removal of no cause terminations, this bill progresses several other important reforms. The bill will prevent landlords and agents from soliciting rent bids from prospective tenants. It will confirm tenants’ rights to grow food and to compost. It will also introduce changes to support the future introduction of minimum housing standards for rental properties.

Tenancy reforms always attract a high level of public interest, due in no small part to the broad impact they can have on our community and the large number of renters in our community. Due to the housing and rental crisis we face, these reforms will have a significant positive impact on the lives of many Canberrans. As such, the government has sought the community’s views on how best to implement the changes proposed in the bill at every step of the way.

These reforms have been the subject of two rounds of public consultation on both the broad policy and the bill itself, and many more hours of targeted and collaborative consultation with key stakeholders. As has been detailed through the two listening reports published following public consultation, the government heard from and engaged with a broad range of stakeholders, including tenants and landlords, the community sector, legal advocates, real estate agents, government agencies and non-government bodies.

Consultation began in early 2021 with targeted stakeholder meetings. Following this, the first round of public consultation occurred through the release of the community consultation paper via the YourSay website in August 2021. The feedback received on the consultation paper informed the development of a public exposure draft bill, which was then released to provide a further opportunity for Canberrans to comment

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