Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (10 March) . . Page.. 469 ..
Let me outline quickly what is in the Bill, but first let me say what is not in the Bill. I have abandoned my previous amendments to introduce a phase-in period for the rating requirement as the Government was not supportive of that and the time has really passed to introduce it. I just hope that the Government is as prepared as it says it is for the 31 March commencement date. Instead, the Bill clarifies what premises are covered by the Act and clarifies the penalty provisions. There is no change to the intent of the Act. The Bill tightens up the definition of residential premises as there was a concern that the current wording of the Act could be interpreted to mean that caravans and mobile homes and commercial buildings that had sufficient facilities to provide accommodation would require a rating, which was not the intention.
The Bill also clarifies the offences in the Bill. The Law Society raised uncertainty about who would be guilty of an offence in the event of the publication of a misleading energy rating. In examining this issue it became apparent that the range of offences in the Act was not comprehensive, so two new offences have been included in the Bill. These are for preparing an energy efficiency rating statement that is false or misleading and giving to another person false or misleading information that is required for preparing an energy efficiency rating statement.
The Law Society also raised concerns that the Act allows a contract for sale to be rescinded if an energy rating statement is not provided by the seller. I am not convinced that this is a major problem, given that there are already provisions in the standard sale contract for rescission of the contract in other circumstances. I also understand that the Government does not support the Law Society's views on this matter. I have, however, included in the Bill a suggestion by the Law Society that the energy rating statement should form part of the sale contract.
In conclusion, I believe that this Bill will improve the workability of the original energy rating disclosure legislation. Let me foreshadow now that this Bill will need to be debated during the next sitting week if it is to have any chance of being in place when the original Act commences at the end of the month. I commend this Bill to the Assembly and I urge members to allow this Bill to be debated in the next sitting week.
Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth ) adjourned.
MR KAINE (10.39): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to present the Casino Control (Amendment) Bill 1999.
MR KAINE: I present the Casino Control (Amendment) Bill 1999, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.