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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1489 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

by the Parliamentary Counsel's Office in the context of its consolidation of the Act and the code. Among the recommendations accepted by the Government for amendment to provisions currently located in the code are recommendations with respect to the market rent, valuations and the definition of commercial premises and retail premises.

There is one area, however, where the Government has not accepted the working party's recommendations. Under the code, lessors are presently required to provide prospective tenants with a disclosure statement which sets out the tenants' obligations as to costs and outgoings under the proposed lease. The working party made a number of recommendations with respect to the provision of disclosure statements which the Government believes have the potential to erode a valuable protection afforded to tenants. A disclosure statement plays a critical part in protecting tenants, who often fail to appreciate what is contained in these documents when they find the formal wording of such documents difficult to comprehend. It is essential that tenants be made fully aware of their obligations under a lease in a readily understood format so that they do not overcommit themselves. The need for small business to adequately estimate their chances of commercial success was specifically recognised as the important aim of the nationally agreed minimum standards for retail tenancy laws.

Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the high level of interest in the recommendations of the report and the Government response to them. I am confident that the implementation of the recommendations which have been accepted by the Government will significantly improve the regulation of commercial and retail tenancies in the Territory, to the advantage of all stakeholders, be they lessors or tenants.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following papers:

Calvary Public Hospital - Information Bulletin - Patient Activity Data - May and June 1998.

The Canberra Hospital - Information Bulletin - Patient Activity Data - May and June 1998.

Department of Health and Community Care - Activity report - 1997-98 financial year.

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