Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 2950 ..
MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Moore for giving me notice of the question. This matter came to my attention only today after he gave notice of it, and I have had a look at the issue. First of all, I am very happy to supply the advice right now. I probably should table it, for the benefit of all members. I will make a copy available to you separately, Mr Moore, so that you can see it. I table that advice. I apologise for the fact that it took so long to come to you. It is my view that, as a rule, if advice is obtained by the Government, it should be made available to members of the Assembly. I understand that there was some mix-up between officers of the Government Solicitor's Office and Planning and Land Management as to whether it was going to be oral or in writing, but it is now available. I am happy to let you see it and use it for the benefit of the constituent who has raised the matter with you. It does raise the issue of how to deal with the problem of seeking compensation from Home Owners Warranty Ltd where the person who in fact was the immediate builder of a house of a particular owner has gone into liquidation and the person who is actually doing the repairs is not the builder but a subcontractor of that builder. There is a real issue there which needs to be explored. I am happy to do that, and I look forward to discussing the implications of that with Mr Moore.
MR MOORE: I have a supplementary question. From my briefing on that issue and being involved in looking after this constituent, it became clear to me that there are inadequacies in the legislation. No doubt your briefing will show that. Are you prepared to look at that legislation, Minister, and deal with the inadequacies as quickly as possible?
MR HUMPHRIES: I have seen this matter only today, as I said, but I think that there are some potential problems with the Building Act. What the Act says is that an owner of a building may apply for compensation through the home owners warranty arrangement. In fact, in this case it is not the owner who is in difficulties; it is a builder, or even a subcontractor of a builder. I think there is some question about whether the legislation is operating appropriately. I am very willing to look for amendments to the legislation. I am happy to discuss the matter with Mr Moore to see what the best form of amendment might be.
MR BERRY: My question is directed to the Minister for Industrial Relations, or a little bit of some of Industrial Relations. Mr De Domenico, in your enterprise agreement with unions you give a commitment to consulting with staff and unions before commencing changes of the type announced on Thursday - that is, the corporatisation of Works and Commercial Services. Will you now concede that, because of your buffoonery and failure to address those requirements, your inactions have led to industrial unrest with the unions involved?
MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, the simple short answer to Mr Berry's insinuation is no. I do not concede anything of the sort. For Mr Berry's information, it is the obligation of the Government, as the owner of Totalcare and with executive responsibility for Urban Services, to make decisions on the future of the enterprises. The Government will meet all its obligations under the enterprise bargaining agreements, including those