Page 908 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 19 April 1994

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MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you for the question, Mrs Carnell. To answer the first part of your question, Mr Berry was invited to stay on that floor, and the arrangements on the Executive floor are up to the Executive. To answer the second part of your question, to my knowledge there will be no expenses entailed in his move. I will have that followed up and, should there be any expenses, I will inform you.

Commercial and Retail Tenancies

MS ELLIS: My question is directed to the Attorney-General in his capacity as Minister responsible for consumer affairs. Will the Minister inform the Assembly of any progress on the issue of commercial and retail tenancies?

MR CONNOLLY: I thank Ms Ellis for the question. There was some uncertainty in the community following the decision of landlord interests to withdraw from a consultative process on the code of practice for retail tenancies. There is clearly a strong perception in the community, particularly from small business interests, that some form of regulation is necessary in this environment. I am now able to advise the Assembly that, despite the withdrawal and the breakdown of those negotiations, the Government will be proceeding by way of legislation, which I expect to bring forward in the next sittings, to provide for a commercial and retail tenancy tribunal and to provide for a code to be made in much the same way as a regulation. It will be made by the Minister but subject to Assembly disallowance and, subject to Mr Moore getting the votes, which I am sure he will - in fact, we may already have done it - subject also to amendment in this place.

During the break in Assembly sittings I will have some final consultations with landlord and tenant interests. I can advise the Assembly that the scheme of the new proposal will be legislation that allows a code to be made by regulation. Clearly, the work that has been done over three years of very long negotiations between landlord and tenant interests will form the basis of the code to be made in this place. Members will have the opportunity, both through informal discussions - I hope to provide members with a copy of it before it is tabled in this place - and on the floor of this place through the new procedures, to settle the final form of that code. It clearly is an area where small business have been saying for a long time that Government action was necessary. This Government has promised action. We regret that the negotiations broke down, but we will not allow that to allow us to falter in our determination to provide relief.

Assembly Members - Staff Entitlements

MR DE DOMENICO: My question without notice is to the Chief Minister. Madam Speaker, it follows the question asked of you by Mrs Carnell. Chief Minister, will Mr Berry receive the same staff salary arrangements as other Labor backbenchers? If not, why not? Are all Mr Berry's former ministerial staff to be accommodated on the staff of other Ministers at similar pay scales or will they remain on Mr Berry's staff at considerably reduced salary levels?

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