Page 549 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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the tenancy may not pass to a non-occupant on the death of a tenant. The bill also provides that the Commissioner for Housing may seek an order from the Residential Tenancies Tribunal where a new tenant takes possession of public housing under testamentary law adjusting the rent or terminating the agreement. These orders may be necessary where the new tenant is not eligible for housing or where the rent may need adjusting to take into account the financial means of the new tenant.

The bill includes a penalty for failure to lodge a rental bond within the prescribed time. A number of private lessors habitually delay in lodging rental bonds. While most if not all bonds are eventually lodged, the delay occasions enforcement costs which cannot be recovered, and the delay also reduces the interest yield on the rental bond corpus, which is used to pay for tenant advice services, the management of bonds and the operation of the Residential Tenancies Tribunal. Including a penalty for a failure to lodge a rental bond should be an incentive for lessors to lodge rental bonds within the prescribed time.

The bill also includes a series of minor amendments such as permitting the Residential Tenancies Tribunal to adjust a tenancy agreement to take into account a court order and clarifying that a tenant is not required to notify the lessor of minor maintenance that an ordinary tenant would be expected to do, such as changing a light globe or a fuse. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Appropriation Bill 2004-2005 (No 2)

Mr Quinlan, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement and supplementary budget papers.

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development) (10.52): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The bill provides for an increase in appropriation of $75.3 million. The Appropriation Bill is necessary for a number of reasons. Firstly, it supports a number of election commitments commencing in 2004-05. We are lucky that we are not trying to support the election commitments of the opposition this time. Secondly, this bill provides for a number of enterprise bargaining agreements that were finalised after the delivery of the 2004-05 budget. Thirdly, the bill provides funding to address specific recommendations resulting from the Vardon report, funding for recent amendments to asbestos law reform and funding for ACTION to address benchmark targets. Finally, the bill addresses a number of cost and demand pressures being experienced within agencies.

I will address significant elements of the bill. The appropriation provides for a number of election commitments to commence in 2004-05. Some examples are $375,000, which provides for an extension to the Kippax Library collection; $125,000 to provide additional per capita funding to non-government schools for kindergarten to Year 3 classes, in recognition of the importance of the early years of education; $50,000 to

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