Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3151 ..
MS DUNDAS (continuing):
I can see that some buyers may be a little bit nervous about relying upon a building or pest report prepared at the direction of the vendor. However, the provisions of clause 19, providing compensation where a report was misleading, may provide some comfort. It may have been better to include a penalty for deliberately misleading prospective purchasers, but I am happy to support the bill in its current form. If that proves to be an issue, we can amend the legislation at a later date.
I support the retention of the requirement for energy efficiency ratings to be prepared for properties being offered for sale. I remain hopeful that these reports will become mandatory for rental properties as well, something that I am looking at pursuing further. The one week cooling-off period is something that is common in other jurisdictions. The addition of a penalty for exercising it makes this provision fair on the vendor.
Dummy bidding has been a longstanding source of irritation and distress to property purchasers-first home buyers in particular. With auctions becoming the norm for property sales in the ACT, I am glad that this bill does regulate auctions. The requirement to register bidders and for the auctioneer to take bids only from those registered bidders will set purchasers' minds at ease, particularly since I believe that the 50-unit penalty for breaching this requirement is steep. The 100-unit penalty for dummy bidding will also reassure buyers that they are working in a regulated market, but I am happy to look at Mr Stefaniak's amendment in more detail.
The exception to permit one disclosed bid on behalf of a seller will not undermine the general prohibition on dummy bidding, especially since there is an additional requirement to draw it to the attention of bidders if the vendor's bid is the highest bid at the auction before the property is passed in. Intending buyers will know what the highest market bid was for the property.
Overall, I commend the bill and the Democrats are happy to support it.
Debate (on motion by Ms Tucker ) adjourned to the next sitting.
Registration of Deeds Amendment Bill 2003
Debate resumed from 8 May 2003, on motion by Mr Wood , on behalf of Mr Stanhope:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR STEFANIAK (11.16): This bill amends the Registration of Deeds Act 1957 to prevent a person registering a deed poll under the act in order to report a change of name. It will restrict the registration of names to the process provided in the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1997. That act has a monitoring process designed to reduce fraud and the use of undesirable or offensive names. An attempted use of offensive names in either this jurisdiction or some other jurisdiction was highlighted not all that long ago, so that seems a fairly sensible process.
The Births, Deaths and Marriages Act processes result in a record being kept of all previous names. If someone changes their name, the previous name is recorded there.