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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 4250 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

create a model that is uniquely our own, one that is appropriately adapted to the special circumstances of the ACT but which is consistent with fundamental human rights principles.

The government's model will not encourage unnecessary litigation, but it will ensure that human rights are taken into account when developing and interpreting all ACT laws. It will promote a dialogue about human rights within the parliament, between the parliament and the judiciary, and, most importantly, within the Canberra community. It will also serve to educate us and foster respect for the rights of others and greater understanding of our responsibilities towards each other. By enshrining the values of inclusiveness and decency in our law, we are laying a solid foundation for human rights protection in the ACT-at home, at work, at school and in our neighbourhoods.

This is a carefully crafted bill that has been the subject of extensive consultation in the community and within government. I commend this bill to the Assembly, and I look forward to a fruitful debate in the Assembly during the first session of 2004.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Suspension of standing and temporary orders

MR WOOD ( Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (6.00): I move:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent Members making a statement on the motion in relation to the proposed amendment of Disallowable Instrument DI2003-153 that was moved and withdrawn by Ms Tucker.

Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

Housing-rental bonds

Withdrawal of motion

MS TUCKER (6.00): Thank you, members and Mr Wood. I would like to make a brief statement to put on the record my understanding of where negotiations have got to on the rental bonds loan scheme established by disallowable instrument DI2003-153 and to explain my reasons for withdrawing my amending motion.

As members will know, I have moved a set of amendments which would, in my view, improve the scheme. Essentially the amendments together extend the catchment of the scheme, which is important because, as people joke to me at the moment, it doesn't need a big budget because many of the people who are eligible in other ways don't have enough income to afford the rent.

Rental bond loans are a means of helping people over one of the initial humps of getting into private rental, which as we all know has become less and less affordable in a context of very low vacancy rates. Assistance with bonds is important but cannot, because of the

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