Page 989 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 15 March 2005

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who show little respect to the occupants of the surrounding neighbourhood, can make a person’s life unbearable.

This bill provides that the Residential Tenancies Tribunal may evict a tenant who is seriously or continually interfering with a neighbour’s quiet enjoyment of their property. Hopefully this clause will provide some relief to residents who have exhausted all other avenues in trying to reduce the noise of their neighbours. This bill is an important piece of legislation and one that will further safeguard and assist the thousands of tenants in Canberra.

I would like to, in finishing, refer to the amendments that have been circulated by Dr Foskey this morning. I would like to make the comment that Dr Foskey needs to give the Assembly time to consider her amendments properly. Giving notice of these amendments to the minister’s office yesterday but providing the amendments to the minister’s office only this morning gives the Assembly and the minister responsible virtually no time to consider these amendments.

Comments have often been made in this place—and I note that we have a different crossbench to what we have had—in the past, indeed by Dr Foskey’s political colleague Ms Tucker, that the crossbench needs to be given plenty of time to consider amendments, to be given time to consider bills. That needs to go two ways. It cannot just be the case that we on the government side need to give as much time as possible or the opposition needs to give as much time when they put up a bill for the crossbench to consider it. In order for effective and considered debate to take place in the Assembly, we need to be given a reasonable amount of time.

I do not consider that being given the actual amendments now, as they stand—and we have here three amendments that are quite substantial—is sufficient time. We need to be given time to consider what the effect is and to take advice from departmental officials as to what these amendments would mean. So I would ask that Dr Foskey in future be considerate of the Assembly’s need to have due time to consider her amendments.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (11.23), in reply: Mr Speaker, this bill is in response to a review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 undertaken by the department of justice. Although the review identified widespread satisfaction with the existing legislation, stakeholders suggested a number of desirable amendments. This bill contains amendments suggested by stakeholders.

The bill includes a number of amendments that will remove the need for specific conditions in residential tenancy agreements to be endorsed by the Residential Tenancies Tribunal. These conditions apply to the termination of residential tenancy agreements by prescribed crisis accommodation providers where the accommodation is needed for someone other than the tenant. I wish to reiterate that these provisions will not apply to short-term crisis accommodation where there is no residential tenancy agreement.

The bill also includes a clause allowing for termination of a tenancy when either a lessor is being posted back to Canberra or a tenant is being posted from Canberra. These clauses will benefit public servants, defence and diplomatic personnel who may be

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