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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 March 2018) . . Page.. 880 ..


the ACT building regulatory system summary of proposed reforms” was met with wide approval from industry. The Master Builders Association of the ACT chief executive, Michael Hopkins, wrote only this week on the RiotACT about the need for these reforms. Keely Quinn from Engineers Australia wrote just the other day to say, “Let’s get on with it.” This amended motion gives us the opportunity to do just that. And I am certain Mr Parton and his colleagues and everyone in this chamber, based on the debate today, would in no way wish to stall this important process.

I agree with the intent of Mr Parton’s motion and I again encourage his enthusiasm for the issue in bringing this motion here today. I am sure Mr Parton will agree that the amendments moved by the minister seek to strengthen the motion. I dare say Mrs Jones will clarify what Mr Parton thinks.

These amendments resolve the fact that there is no mention of the work that has already been done, which so far has been mainly technical in nature, in enabling things to go forward. The motion as it originally stands also lacks a path ahead. It tells us what needs to be done but does not suggest how. While the reforms contained in the summary of proposed reforms did indeed receive widespread support, it was obvious from the consultation that there was disagreement on how to implement these reforms. The amendment today proposing that the relevant standing committee or committees consider conducting an inquiry into construction quality and any gaps in the current building regulation reform program seeks to resolve that oversight and offer a forum in which we can find consensus on the design and implementation of these much-needed reforms. This process is important for our community as well, as it will also give residents the opportunity to be heard on these issues, offering a more informed approach to resolving these matters, which we have all said is very important.

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (5.33): I thank members for their understanding that Mr Parton has had to attend to caring responsibilities for his family. He has given me some guidance on the thoughts that he wanted to share in closing this debate. I will read from his notes.

I feel we have actually achieved something here today. Despite the amendments from the government, despite them skirting around the issue and pretending that there is no great problem, I am buoyed by the support from the Greens and I thank my colleague Ms Caroline Le Couteur for viewing this motion as it should have been viewed. This motion was never about political theatre; it was about responding to calls from the community, responding to calls from the industry and then prodding the government to move in a certain direction, in the way you might prod a sleepy wombat to get off the road, because we all know that that would be the best outcome.

Whatever the final result here in the chamber I know that, if nothing else, the noise created here will probably move that sleepy wombat in the right direction. It goes without saying that I am certainly not comparing the minister in any way to a sleepy wombat. Anyone who had a mental image floating around in their head of Mr Gentleman should instantly erase the image, because that would be most unkind.


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