Page 5473 - Week 17 - Wednesday, 4 December 1991

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

Wednesday, 4 December 1991


MR SPEAKER (Mr Prowse) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


MR JENSEN (10.31): I present the Commercial Tenancies Bill 1991. I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

The legislation I have tabled today is the culmination of a long-term commitment by the Residents Rally, given during the election campaign and reiterated many times during the life of this Assembly. In tabling this Bill, I intend to look at the issues in the following order: Why we need the legislation; some history related to the proposals; and the main points of the legislation.

Firstly, why do we need legislation in this area of private rights and obligations and contracts? There are some people in the community who will ask this question many times. Some of these people will have the base motive of trying to maintain their own ultraprivileged financial position and the status quo. It is not in the nature of the resilient small business community to tell us all their troubles; nor is it in their interests, as the ears of the barons are listening and the time of reckoning is due to arrive, with the final sword stroke being in the landlord's hands when it is time for renewal of lease or review of the current rental.

Other States have seen fit to legislate in this very difficult area. For example, Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland, as well as South Australia, have all attempted to deal with this problem by specific legislation, with varying degrees of success. None of these States has gone sufficiently far in addressing the underlying problems: The illusory nature of tenants' rights - they cannot complain because they run the risk of the loss of their livelihood; the distortions produced in the calculation of fair market rentals, where only some commercial tenancies are included in the calculation; the introduction of legislation to provide for tenants who in future enter into leases but abandon all those currently in business.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .