Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (4 September) . . Page.. 3106 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
There was a point also raised that we ought not look at this issue in isolation. Well, this issue is not looked at in isolation. I originally moved this amendment to the Bill that Mr Connolly presented, and it was considered within the context of that Bill. I believe it is still appropriate. Mr Speaker, if this amendment goes through, the next time Mr Humphries wants to have a look at and review the effectiveness of the tribunal there will actually be some cases to assess. The most obvious reason why so few people are availing themselves of the system at the moment is that it started operating from 1 January 1995 and it is only arrangements that were made since that time that will come before the tribunal, other than the few cases that have been tested and that Mr Humphries quoted.
Mr Speaker, whatever move we can make for small business at this time would seem to be the logical move to make. Certainly, your party, Mr Speaker, going to the election, indicated that they would do what they could to assist small business. The Labor Party indicated it would do what it could to assist small business. The Greens also indicated the same thing, and I have done the same. This becomes a test of giving assistance to small businesses who are in conflict with, in the vast majority of cases, big businesses in this Territory. That is not to say that all landlords are big business and that all landlords are terribly voracious or are acting inappropriately. Of course, the vast majority are acting appropriately, and the vast majority of tenants are acting appropriately.
But when it comes to a situation of conflict there is a significant imbalance of power, and the legislation put up by Mr Connolly in the last Assembly addressed that imbalance of power substantially. I believed at the time it needed finetuning, and I think it needs that same finetuning at the moment to ensure that that imbalance of power is appropriately addressed. That imbalance of power will be addressed appropriately when both parties are willing to go to mediation and have a reasonable opportunity to have that mediation work. When one party is well and truly in power, what is the point of going to mediation? You can be comfortable about going to mediation because you know you are not going to concede anything anyway, and that is a reasonable process. I commend this legislation to members.
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
The Assembly voted -
AYES, 4 NOES, 13 Ms Horodny Mr Berry Mr Kaine Mr Moore Mrs Carnell Ms McRae Mr Osborne Mr Cornwell Ms Reilly Ms Tucker Mr De Domenico Mr Stefaniak Ms Follett Mr Whitecross Mr Hird Mr Wood Mr HumphriesQuestion so resolved in the negative.