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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3147 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

the government powers to investigate complaints. The construction occupations licensing bill that I made public as an exposure draft during July and August makes the licensing system more effective and strengthens government powers to deal with complaints in ways that maintain the capacity of the regulatory system to meet the reasonable needs of the consumers and the industry.

Mr Speaker, this bill is a sensible adjustment to our provisions for building warranty protection but, at the same time, does not significantly diminish consumer protection. I thank members for their support.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Bill 2003

Debate resumed from 26 June 2003, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (11.00): Mr Speaker, the opposition will be supporting this bill. I am very pleased to see that, after a lot of work by the department as to various models and some interesting suggestions last year by the Real Estate Institute and the Law Society in terms of a compensation regime for people gazumped, in this instance the government has worked in very well with the Real Estate Institute and the Law Society.

The government officials who were involved in that should be commended for their efforts. I understand that the consultations took several months. Some people in the industry said that, if anything, they were a little bit quick, but fundamentally the people I have talked to from the Real Estate Institute and the Law Society are quite content with this bill.

This bill is important. The practice of gazumping is something of concern to all of us, especially those of us with some legal background,. It can lead to a lot of disappointment. Indeed, it has led to some financial problems and expenditure by persons who thought that they had a contract, thought everything was sweet, and then it turned out not to be so. This bill will go a long way to ensuring that the problems we have seen with gazumping are overcome.

I would at this stage ask the government to ensure that the same consultation it and its officials had with the Law Society and the Real Estate Institute continue in relation to the regulations. The Law Society and the Real Estate Institute were quite happy with the consultation, but they both stressed to me the need for the government to continue that type of consultation with them in terms of getting the regulations right. I would certainly impress that upon the government.

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