Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 1 December 2022) . . Page.. 4135 ..
In the first instance, there is a process internal to the village. Under the act, every village must have a disputes committee that residents can use. That disputes committee will have three members—one appointed by residents, one appointed by the operator and an independent member agreed by the residents and the operator. Residents can take disputes to the committee, and the committee must act within 30 days to resolve the dispute, arrange for an external mediator or decide that it cannot be resolved at that level.
There are two other options if that mechanism does not work. One is that, if it cannot be resolved there, residents can apply to the ACT Administrative and Civil Tribunal, which is of course set up to be a lower barrier means to access that sort of formal decision-making process. ACAT will often try to resolve the disputes through mediation, but, if not, the matter can go to a hearing.
Finally, there is a mechanism where residents can make a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, under section 175 of the act. The commission will also seek to resolve a complaint by conciliation. The commission does have a range of powers, including to compel parties to attend a conciliation and to require relevant information to be provided. If conciliation is successful, the commission will provide a written record of the agreement, and that can be enforced as if it were an order of the ACT. If the Human Rights Commission cannot resolve it, then it remains for residents that they could go back to ACAT.
MR BRADDOCK: Attorney-General, is the government exploring any other avenues to be able to resolve disputes amicably between the two parties?
MR RATTENBURY: Not at this time. The new power for the Human Rights Commission was recently conferred, in 2019. It came from the review of the Retirement Villages Act that was conducted between 2015 and 2016. That review had extensive consultation with a range of stakeholders, including resident village providers, industry representatives, the legal community involved, through the older persons advisory group, as well as a range of residents. There were some pretty active residents involved in that process.
This new mechanism was designed out of that feedback. It has only been in place for a short period of time. At this stage, I have not had feedback that people are concerned by that. But I will take the opportunity to check that, now that Mr Braddock has asked me the question.
MS CLAY: Attorney, what has been the uptake of the option of going to the Human Rights Commission?
MR RATTENBURY: I do not have that figure to hand. I will take that question on notice and provide the detail to Ms Clay and Mr Braddock.
Kippax group centre—development
MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, I quote from pages 32 and 36 of the Kippax master plan, where it states that