Page 3636 - Week 11 - Thursday, 22 September 2005

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o the Legal Aid Commission offers free minor advice and assistance through the Legal Aid Offices in the ACT.

These bodies offer tenants assistance in understanding their statutory rights and obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and other associated legislation.

Tenants in the ACT can apply to the Residential Tenancies Tribunal to terminate a residential tenancy agreement on grounds of significant hardship under section 44 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2005 was notified on 31 August 2005 and is yet to commence. Consultation was undertaken with stakeholders, including community tenancy organisations, in formulating amendments and the ability to terminate tenancy agreements beyond the scope of the current Act was not identified as a problem.

Housing—tenant advice service
(Question No 478)

Mrs Burke asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 18 August 2005:

(1) What steps have been taken to consider forming a tenants’ advice service in the ACT;

(2) If a service has been established, where has funding been drawn from to operate the service.

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

There is currently a tenants’ advice service in the ACT. It is funded from interest generated by the Office of Rental Bonds.

Finance—Treasurer’s Advance
(Question No 479)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, upon notice, on 18 August 2005:

(1) Of the $10 million Treasurer’s Advance, did $896 000 remain to be spent by 30 June 2005 on fire safety works in Housing ACT multi unit properties; if so, was this spent; if not, why not;

(2) Have the outstanding works been completed at (a) Booloominbah Court, (b) Ambara Court, (c) Ainslie Flats, (d) Northbourne Flats, (e) Stuart Flats, (f) Strathgordon Court, (g) Illawarra Court (first block) and (h) Griffith Flats;

(3) Has the balance of works to occur at Illawarra Court, Kanangra, Gowrie, Allawah and Bega Courts commenced, as the new Total Facilities Management (TFM) contractor is known;

(4) What are the new fire safety works arrangements and have they been agreed to between Housing ACT and the new TFM.

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