Page 2657 - Week 08 - Friday, 1 July 2005

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The feedback from stakeholders has been that ACTPLA’s titles section is efficient as it stands, but this legislation relies on the strength of that unit being preserved or enhanced. Given the job cuts in ACTPLA, we would certainly hope that there will not be cuts in this area in view of this change to the legislation. The minister might enlighten us on that when he responds.

In summary, Mr Speaker, the opposition will be supporting this bill. We do see some positives with it. As always, we will be watching closely how it is implemented and we look forward to the minister keeping us informed of the success of the legislation.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (9.58): This bill brings the ACT into line with New South Wales and Victoria in facilitating staged development. It means, in effect, that developers will be able to build, sell and have occupied the first stage of a development before completing the building in later stages, as long as those later stages have development approval.

Whilst the basic concept is clear, there are a number of complexities involved, as the minister pointed out, such as protecting the amenity of residents living in completed units while further construction is carried out. I note that industry, territory agencies and the law society have consulted in the process of developing the bill and I guess we should be reassured. Of course, consultation is as consultation does, to paraphrase Forrest Gump, and the Greens take the view that a more detailed report on the consultation process used in developing legislation would be helpful.

I note that the bill’s definition of “substantially inconvenienced” is limited to works on the same stage or common property. Clearly, there is potential for occupiers of a completed stage to be inconvenienced by the construction of later stages. Perhaps that is the price you pay for getting in on the first stage. I am not sure, however, that this is all entirely satisfactory and I am using this speech to flag those concerns and to call on the ACT government to ensure that its agencies track the impact of this legislation, particularly its impact on the amenity of residents.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Construction Occupations Legislation Amendment Bill 2005

Debate resumed from 5 May 2005, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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