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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 22 November 2007) . . Page.. 3699 ..


legal action, this creates a large window of opportunity for an agent to continue to trade which may expose the community to further loss from agents who are breaching the act.

The bill deals with this issue by providing that disciplinary action can be taken against a licensee if the licensee contravenes the act. A licensee will still have an opportunity to present their case to the independent Consumer and Trader Tribunal before any disciplinary action is taken.

Section 43 of the Agents Act 2003 specifies the disciplinary action that the Consumer and Trader Tribunal can take against an agent. There is some uncertainty as to whether the tribunal has the power to disqualify a person whose licence expires before the hearing occurs or where a person hands their licence back to the regulator. This bill removes any uncertainty in this provision.

Section 139 of the Agents Act 2003 allows an administrator to be appointed where an agent’s licence has been suspended or cancelled. Currently, an administrator cannot be appointed if the agent hands in their licence, if an agent dies, if an agent’s licence is not renewed, for unlicensed traders, or if an agent disappears, without there being grounds for disciplinary action. The bill rectifies this and ensures that the decision to appoint an administrator can be appealed.

Sections 18 and 19 of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1997 provide for the Registrar-General to change a person’s name if the applicant is a resident of the ACT or was born in the ACT.

Currently, where a person was not born in the ACT, but as an ACT resident applies for a name change, the Registrar-General is only required to notify the original registering authority if there is a request in writing to do so by the applicant. This arrangement may allow for a person to be issued with a birth certificate or extract from the original registering authority that does not reflect their change of name as registered in the ACT.

The bill provides that a change in a person’s name must be linked with their birth registration. This will address the current disconnect between a person’s name that was registered at birth and a subsequent change of name. This will also ensure that any birth certificate or extract that is issued will show the person’s new name and should decrease the opportunity for identity fraud.

In the last financial year, the office processed 3,093 applications for registration of a new business name and 3,614 renewals of a business name. A business name registration currently lasts for three years. The bill provides businesses with the choice of having a three or five-year business name registration. This will assist business and will reduce the work of the office in processing over 3,000 business name renewals each year.

The Door-to-Door Trading Act 1991 protects consumers in their dealings with traders who sell goods or services from door to door or over the telephone without being requested to by the consumer. In particular, the act sets hours of permitted trade and


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