Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 675 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

section is going to be when it is renumbered, but I think it is 107A-and a deal is struck as a result of the preferential arrangements, and a continuing tenant enters into an agreement with the landlord to continue as a tenant as a consequence of those provisions, then really the expectation would be that those arrangements would be entered into in good faith and would be complied with, and would set the nature of the arrangements between the landlord and tenant.

One would expect that to be the case. When a deal is struck, when it is set and an arrangement is made between a landlord and tenant, unless there is undue pressure or unconscionable conduct, surely that is the arrangement that should apply. There is, however, a provision in relation to clause 51 regarding market premiums. The contrary view that is stated is, of course, that under every circumstance a tenant should be entitled, under the new regime, to an appropriate market rent.

I think there is a view among some of us that perhaps there is some inconsistency in the legislation now between the potential defects of section 51 and the potential impact of 107A. In terms of the judgment reached by the Labor Party, we are assuming that there is not enough conflict there to impact on the entry into appropriate arrangements.

As I say, we have made a judgment here tonight on it, and the Labor Party will stand by its judgment, but it is an issue on which there are conflicting and contrary views within both the landlord and the tenancy camps. There is a divergence of opinion about what is appropriate. The Labor Party has today chosen to accept the position put by tenant representatives that we do it in an expectation that arrangements entered into between landlords and tenants will be entered into in good faith. If the preferential provisions to which we have now agreed are to work, then it will require that degree of good faith or, I think, everybody here knows that this is an issue that will also be revisited.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (10.27): I am very disappointed in Mr Stanhope's choosing not to move this amendment, because it takes our legislation a step further than South Australia and it gets to a situation where I think we are not getting to a level playing field. A lot of work has gone into this legislation over many, many years, a point Mr Stanhope has recognised himself, and we have seen tonight some changes which no-one had anticipated being made when we started the debate. So I am very disappointed to see that Mr Stanhope, who has brought forward what I thought was quite a sensible amendment, is now not going to move it.

I think he will probably rue the day he did that. I do note that we have until 1 July next year for the act to commence. I imagine the South Australian provisions might start applying there before then, so we may see how they actually work. However, what we are considering tonight actually goes beyond what has happened in South Australia. I think this is something that will have to be revisited, because there could be very bad consequences if it is not. It is unfortunate in the extreme that Mr Stanhope has seen fit, now, to change his mind at about one minute to 12, and not move what we consider to be a sensible amendment, which we would have supported.

Clause 51, as recommitted, as further amended, agreed to.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .