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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1417 ..

Remainder of Bill, by leave, taken as a whole

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (6.06): I move amendment No. 7 circulated in my name. It reads:

Page 7, line 6, clause 18, subclause (2), definition of "value of the work", paragraph (b), omit "person", substitute "qualified valuer".

MR BERRY (6.06): Mr Speaker, on the face of it, Mr Stefaniak's amendment makes sense. However, I have to say that I could not imagine the council appointing anybody to make a decision in relation to costing of building construction unless they were suitably qualified, and that person might not be a qualified valuer; it might be somebody experienced in the construction industry. So it troubles me without having first talked to the industry about whether or not we should require this qualification. On that basis, I shall oppose that amendment.

If at some future time the industry say to me that they want a qualified valuer, or some other set of qualifications, I would be happy to accept that, but I have not had time to consult with the industry in relation to that matter and at this point I recommend that members oppose it. On the face of it, it looks okay, but a valuer might not be somebody who has experience, say, in the construction industry or part of some construction that may or may not have been completed because they are talking about work that is abandoned before being completed, and so on and so forth. It strikes me that a valuer might not be the appropriate person. I am not qualified to make a judgment on who would be the most appropriate person, but I am sure the construction industry people on the board would. At this point I would recommend caution, leave the Bill as it is, and perhaps consider the matter at some future time.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (6.08): I suggest it is simpler to do it now, simply on the basis that this was an amendment drawn to our attention by the Attorney-General's Department in the draft, which indicated that the process of resolving disputes was unclear, especially in relation to who the Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Board, which has now been constituted, would appoint to arbitrate and what criteria would be used. The amendment simply makes quite clear who would be appointed. They must be a qualified valuer, which, surely, would be commonsense. I do not know whether anyone in the industry, and there are a couple present, would disagree with that. If Mr Berry has a problem he might like to consult with one of these two gentlemen here from the industry.

MR BERRY (6.09): I do not think it is an issue of such great moment, Mr Speaker, except that it will put that added requirement on it. I heard Mr Stefaniak say that the recommendation came from the Attorney-General's Department. I do not know how many construction workers there are there, or how many construction contractors, but I suspect not many. Perhaps there are none. I would again urge people to oppose this.

I do not have a philosophical position about it, but the industry might have difficulty with those sorts of qualifications. I cannot imagine, for example, that unfinished work would be better assessed by a valuer than, say, a contract carpenter or a contract builder of some

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