Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 800 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
That work has already produced a number of important steps which, in turn, have led to legislation. The first major report by the commission was in December 1994. That led to the enactment of the new residential tenancies legislation in May of last year and the repeal of the old Landlord and Tenant Act, which was a very archaic piece of legislation.
In September 1997 the commission issued a further report dealing with public housing which resulted in the residential tenancies law covering both public and private tenancies in the ACT. Since then the commission has considered a range of issues dealing with boarders and lodgers, hostel accommodation, community housing and caravan parks. The commission has had discussions in this area. I note that the commission issued a discussion paper dealing with caravan park issues some while ago. I understand that the commission has now prepared a report dealing with these issues. That report is going to be released following some further discussions within the commission, but I expect that to be in the next few weeks.
In considering this area, I understand that the commission has taken as its starting point the desirability of all accommodation arrangements being integrated within the framework of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. I think that is appropriate. There is not any basis for saying that, in principle at least, that should not be the case. Under that approach and in view of the commission's report dealing with public housing, I think it would be most unlikely that the forthcoming report would recommend a scheme giving different rights to residents simply on the basis that they live in public or private housing.
Obviously we need to see what that report actually says before we consider what steps to take by way of legislation, if that is what is required - and I suspect it is. The work already done by the commission in this area has been very positive and has led to significant improvements in the legal position and the clarity of the position of parties in the ACT. I believe that the report, which is expected imminently, should also contribute positively to that debate.
MS TUCKER: I seek leave to speak again very briefly to respond to Mr Humphries.
MS TUCKER: I do not think Mr Humphries was here when I spoke. I did outline the history that he has just outlined, but it is fine that it has been repeated. That is exactly the point of my amendment - I did not know when the report was going to be produced. I was interested to hear you just say that it is imminent. You made a statement that you did not think there should be different rights for public and private houses; that you believed that the commission is going to recommend that general residential tenancy law take into account caravans and relocatable homes. I do not know whether you are aware of the Commonwealth report. I assume that you are. It clearly outlines differences with community houses and boarders and lodgers. You are telling the Assembly that this work is well progressed. That is good.
My amendment is saying that we should wait until you have turned that into a proposal for legislation for the ACT Assembly to address before you sell this caravan park. That is because under the existing protection people in this caravan park have greater