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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (Thursday, 10 December 2009) . . Page.. 5646 ..

Title read by Clerk.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (10.38): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill amends the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004 and the Unit Titles Act 2001. For convenience, I will refer to these two pieces of legislation in this speech as COLA and UTA respectively.

In 2004, the government introduced the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act and this new legislation brought with it significant improvements to the way the construction sector is administered in the ACT. It established a framework which provides for effective regulation of the construction industry in the ACT, ensures high levels of confidence and training in the industry and establishes a qualifications framework which enables labour market mobility. This aspect is essential in ensuring that there are adequate numbers of builders, building certifiers, plumbers, electricians, drainers and gas fitters in the Canberra construction sector.

As we are all aware, the construction industry plays a significant role in Canberra’s economic development. The creation of new employment in the city has not only resulted in high demand for commercial office accommodation but also resulted in high demand for housing in Canberra. The provision of affordable housing is in part dependent on the availability of builders, plumbers, electricians, gas fitters and other tradespeople to ensure the timely completion of new residential development, whether it be infill development or housing in new suburbs.

The amendments made by the bill to COLA and UTA create a new construction occupation that outsources elements of the unit title application process. Under the Unit Titles Act, certain information must be provided with an application to unit title an existing or approved development under construction. Under section 17:

The application must provide for the subdivision of the parcel into units, unit subsidiaries and common property.

The application may provide for staged development of all or some of the units. If it does, the application must include a development statement.

The application must include:

a certificate from a registered surveyor describing the situation of the building on the parcel; and

a plan drawn by a registered surveyor showing encroachments into public places, if present.

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