Page 857 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 March 2005

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Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 6, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Proposed new clauses 6A and 6B.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.32): I seek leave to move amendments Nos 1 and 2 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

DR FOSKEY: I move amendments numbers 1 and 2 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 927].

These amendments concern real estate agents. Given that there has already been an indication that the government does not plan to accept my amendments, I am assuming that we will deal with these amendments and, depending on the result, I will not proceed with the second set of amendments.

MR SPEAKER: The question before us is that amendments Nos 1 and 2 be agreed to. That is really the debate we are having. The question of relevance arises.

DR FOSKEY: They are very much connected. That is why I was planning to deal with them together.

MR SPEAKER: To deal with them together, Dr Foskey, you need leave.

DR FOSKEY: I see leave to speak to all my amendments.

Leave granted.

MR SPEAKER: Dr Foskey, the Clerk advises me that you will have to move each amendment separately.

DR FOSKEY: My first two amendments apply to real estate agents and the second two apply to registered sales people. The Agents Act is cut and dried about disqualifying anyone convicted of an offence of dishonesty from gaining a licence to practice as a real estate agent or being registered as a sales person. The Consumer and Trader Tribunal has made the point that there is no room for discretion. As I commented in the in-principle debate, offences of dishonesty are wide ranging and can, on occasion, be somewhat less than deliberate. Nor are they always indicative of a lifelong propensity to crime.

One reasonably typical example will suffice for this debate. If someone on a benefit or pension receives an overpayment and fails to identify it or respond appropriately, they can be charged with fraud. They might easily be living in some discord or difficulty at

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