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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1610 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

committee, know that they intend to do so. In terms of the substance, I think that it is very sensible, as I said, to send this bill to the committee.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Civil Law (Wrongs) Amendment Bill 2003 (No 2)

Discharge from notice paper

MS DUNDAS (10.58): Pursuant to standing order 152, I move:

That order of the day No 1, private members business, relating to the Civil Law (Wrongs)Amendment Bill 2003 (No 2), be discharged from the notice paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Public housing tenants-protection of rights and obligations

MRS BURKE (10.59): I move:

That this Assembly calls on the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Mr Bill Wood, to ensure that the rights and obligations of ACT Housing tenants be protected, upheld and enforced in relation to their tenancy agreement.

An excerpt from Labor's website states:

Labor believes the ACT residents on low incomes have "the right to live somewhere in security, peace and dignity". (Article 11 (1) of the United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.)

In light of recent widespread antisocial behaviour by a minority of tenants within ACT Housing dwellings, the ACT government needs to be made aware, again, of its ongoing failure to identify and act upon its obligations as landlord to all ACT Housing tenants. I refer specifically to the prescribed terms, attachment A, of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, section 70. The minister would, no doubt, be aware that for the benefit of all residents, both public and private, it is imperative that the fundamental terms as a whole are enforced and that there be insistence on the part of ACT Housing that all tenants abide by them.

If the minister says that he wants our public housing sector to be on a par with the private sector-that is, like the LJ Hookers of this world-in terms of what he is offering tenants, then he must lift his game in terms of maintenance. I hear of many properties being in a shabby state and in disrepair and of tenants having to wait inordinate amounts of time to have minor maintenance matters attended to. That is not acceptable, Minister. Tenants tell me that if the problems are not fixed, they become increasingly disheartened and wonder why they bother to report any problems at all. The minister needs to give his department the resources it needs to ensure that tenants' rights are being met by their landlord, this government, under the terms of their agreement in order that they, in turn, might meet their obligations under the same partnership.

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