Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 February 2018) . . Page.. 368 ..
legislation. It has forced me to consult far and wide and to do a hell of a lot of reading. This is the sort of reading whereby you go back and re-read certain paragraphs half a dozen times before you begin to get some semblance of understanding of exactly what they are trying to say. There were moments during which I figured that some of this material was actually written in a foreign language, but it was all apparently in English. So thanks, Mr Gentleman, for widening my scope of consumed literature. I do appreciate it. And thanks to all those stakeholders who have patiently enlightened me on the merits or otherwise of the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act and the Electricity Safety Act, which I think is my favourite.
We will not be opposing this bill, as the changes that it will bring have been well thought out and are warranted. The changes to the Electricity Safety Act and the Electricity Safety Regulation are long overdue. If anything, this bill perhaps does not go far enough, in that the bill creates the mechanism to make a change in this space but does not necessarily force the change immediately. Across the border in New South Wales, they have been 100 per cent contestable in this space for nearly 20 years. More than anything else, I think that is an indication that these particular changes are long overdue. In the past, ActewAGL, as the distributor and retailer, would hang your meter and then charge you accordingly. Now in the ACT any licensed electrical operator with correct accreditations can put a meter on an electrical supply on behalf of any retailer. This is, I guess, part of a national push for greater competition, and up to this point the ACT had no legislation to deal with this.
The changes to legislation pertaining to the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act originate from proposals at COAG, and they have our full support. The information sharing across agencies and across jurisdictions that will likely eventuate from this change can only have a positive effect. The Canberra Liberals are most pleased to offer our support to this bill, and I look forward to my next fascinating homework project from Mr Gentleman.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (11.14): Obviously the Greens are in favour of working together with other states and territories on building safety. It is just sensible and common sense. The only thing that surprises me is that our public servants could not already share that information about product safety, but so be it. Obviously, I support it. I also support, as I think Mr Parton was intimating, regular tidying up of our legislation. The Greens are happy to support this worthwhile bill.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (11.15), in reply: I am pleased to hear my colleagues’ support for the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Bill 2017. I thank Mr Parton and Ms Le Couteur for their contributions to the debate on this bill today, particularly Mr Parton for his spark of interest in electrical safety across the ACT.
The amendments in this bill are largely administrative, but they are important for the ongoing operation and effectiveness of our building and construction regulatory system. The amendments to the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act will expand the information-sharing provisions about public safety in part 11AA to