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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 2776 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

This Bill gives an owner the right to apply to a court, before the time the goods may be disposed of under this law, for review of an account of any costs which must be met before the goods are released. This Bill also entitles a possessor to retain from the proceeds of any sale of uncollected goods of significant value the reasonable costs incurred by that person for the storage, removal, transport and other costs of complying with this legislation. That person would also be entitled to the reasonable costs of storing and maintaining the goods after the date on which the owner should have collected or taken delivery of them. He or she may also claim the amount of any lien and the amount of any unpaid rent owed. The balance of the proceeds of any sale or auctions will be paid to the ACT.

An exception to the proposed process relates to goods left at public baths. In recognition of the common occurrence of children leaving personal effects at public baths, the Government has decided to incorporate into this Bill the existing rules relating to goods left at public baths. Lost or abandoned goods found on any unleased property may be taken by the police or an authorised officer and held in a designated retention area. Where property, other than moneys, is found on Territory premises and not claimed by the owner of that property within three months, the Territory may dispose of the goods using the process set out in this Bill. Where the Territory has disposed of any unclaimed property by sale, the person who, immediately before the sale, was its owner may claim the sale price less the cost of the storage, maintenance or disposal of the property.

In summary, Mr Speaker, this Bill establishes a comprehensive statutory code governing the holding and disposal of uncollected or abandoned goods. It establishes a balance between the rights of the owner of the goods and the possessor of those goods. I commend this Bill and the Uncollected Goods (Consequential Provisions) Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Follett) adjourned.


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (12.10): Mr Speaker, I present the Uncollected Goods (Consequential Provisions) Bill 1996, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

My comments in support of this Bill are contained in my speech in respect of the Uncollected Goods Bill.

Debate (on motion by Ms Follett) adjourned.

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