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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 2 Hansard (4 March) . . Page.. 806..


MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Minister.

MRS DUNNE: This member picked up the bill on 27 November and has been dealing with it ever since.

The main argument put forward today as to why we had to deal with the legislation today was that we would not get our national competition policy payments. This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel as an excuse. When I was in government we used that argument and I didn't believe it then. Do you expect me to believe it of this government? Not at all.

There are plenty of reasons why we should not be debating this legislation today: the Scrutiny of Bills Committee has not finally reported, there are significant problems with the legislation and this government is failing to consult with the community. Mr Corbell can rant and rave as much as he likes and can say that I am a disgrace, but I am the one who is doing the work. I am doing my darndest to protect the interests of the community against a government who doesn't really care.

MS TUCKER (6.40): This package of legislation introduces reforms to the regulation of trades in the construction industry. This will affect building certifiers and plumbing plan certifiers. The significant change that will result from the legislation is a shift from multiple licensing and disciplinary systems to a single system. The aim of this is to achieve a more consistent and transparent approach to the regulation of each trade.

Another feature of the legislation is the establishment of advisory panels to replace statutory boards. This will provide a more consistent approach to the provision of advice and mandatory qualifications for licensed applicants. Another reform is the creation of flexible and effective forms of disciplinary action against delinquent licence holders. It proposes a new demerit points system for licensees and the capacity to issue infringement notices against unlicensed persons who do work requiring a licence. The new Building Act clarifies the approval steps for building work, the role of building certifiers and some sections of the current act. It also includes a provision that facilitates the use of grey water and of fresh water collection, as is generally agreed we should seek to encourage.

In that spirit then, I have an amendment that gives the minister the power to rule out the use of some materials in approved building works, such as rainforest timbers. The amendment establishes "sustainability guidelines"as the mechanism for identifying proscribed materials. The heart of this whole project is the goal of creating a scheme which is consistent across all construction occupations and which provides for a transparent and modulated approach to regulation, discipline and the rectification of faults. There has been some considerable consultation with this proposed scheme. I recall the exposure drafts of these bills being open for comment for several months last year. The bills themselves were tabled in the Assembly in November last year.

There are a number of aspects of these bills that warrant close examination. One is the establishment of a registrar within the ACT Planning and Land Authority. Everyone in the Assembly would be aware by now that HIA and MBA are championing the concept of an independent registrar. They would prefer a registrar appointed by the minister on


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