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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 2973 ..

The bill proposes changes to section 283 of the Planning and Development Act to address the apparent discrepancy with section 425 by clarifying that an approved form is not required when negotiating and endorsing a land management agreement with a rural lessee. Based on advice from officials, and out of an abundance of caution, the bill provides for transitional provisions in relation to current agreements. By clarifying this matter, the amendment to section 283 also serves the government’s commitment to reduce administrative red tape.

The bill also enables greater guidance to be provided for the management and administration of land management agreements. As these agreements are entered into by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna and rural lease holders, it is appropriate for guidance to be provided by the conservator to rural leaseholders. New sections 283(5) to (7) have been included in the bill to permit the Conservator of Flora and Fauna to make guidelines in relation to land management agreements and to require the conservator to consult with the planning and land authority about the guidelines. These guidelines will enhance risk management frameworks by identifying, assessing and mitigating risks—or identifying opportunities—associated with rural leasehold land in the territory.

The final raft of amendments that I will now discuss relates to building management statements, as required under the Land Titles Act 1925. These amendments support the continued implementation of the Managing Building Better reforms. The first phase of reforms was delivered through the Unit Titles Legislation Amendment Act 2020, which came into effect on 1 November 2020. The comprehensive reforms contained in the Unit Titles Legislation Amendment Act support the ACT government’s work to deliver a fairer and easier way to live and work together.

The Managing Building Better reforms work established the new framework policy and the legislative framework for unit titles to improve the management of apartments, townhouses and mixed-use developments and commercial units. Included in these amendments was the introduction of building management statements for buildings which contain multiple leases. A building management statement is a binding agreement between all building lessees for the maintenance and administration of their building, ensuring that the building is maintained and managed as a whole and in accordance with the agreement developed with the consent of all the lessees.

These agreements introduce an important new governance structure for buildings to make sure that every owner contributes to and participates in the preservation and upkeep of the building, as well as setting out the processes for matters such as ongoing management, decision-making and dispute resolution. During implementation of the Unit Titles Legislation Amendment Act, minor issues were identified relating to the process of applying to the planning and land authority for approval of a building management statement. As such, the bill includes minor and technical amendments to the Land Titles Act 1925 to make sure that legislation relating to building management statements is effective and clear.

There are also minor consequential amendments to other legislation to support the changes needed to clarify the process of applying for approval of a building

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