Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 4 March 2008) . . Page.. 453 ..
I am pleased to see the correction of the omissions regarding telephone trading and the contracts which arise from such trade. Door-to-door trading is reducing due to the difficulties of finding anyone home these days, and telemarketing is becoming more common—and generally unpopular—in our community, so it is important to protect consumers from dodgy deals.
While I think it may be difficult to police a cooling-off period from the day the contract was received by the customer, it is hard to see how this could be better achieved. This system is certainly better than what is available under the current legislation.
The amendment to adjust business name registration to allow registration for five years instead of three also seems sensible for businesses while reducing the workload of the office. The amendments are, for the most part, non-controversial. Because of its importance, I would like to see more resources for the Office of Regulatory Services as well as these efficiencies, and, while I note that some of these changes may cause inconvenience to consumers, I will nonetheless be supporting the bill.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (5.28), in reply: I thank the Assembly for their support of this legislation. These reforms, as members have highlighted, do deal with issues around improving the delivery of services by the new Office of Regulatory Services, and they are designed to streamline administration in a range of matters.
In particular, it is worth highlighting the changes in relation to police checks, and I think it is outlined in my explanatory statement. The Office of Regulatory Services deals with about 3,000 police checks every year on behalf of clients. That has often involved double handling, because clients make an application for a licence of some sort from the Office of Regulatory Services and they are obliged to have a police check to support that licence application.
Previously, the office has done that police check on their behalf, and it often involves a phone call to the office to find out where the police check is at, a phone call to police to find out where their process is at, and then a reverse chain of events. It has become quite a time-consuming and tedious process when it would be far better for the applicant to deal with the police directly. If police require further information or particulars we do not really need to have the middle person in the way through the Office of Regulatory Services. That reform on its own is worth its weight in gold in terms of improving the business operations of the Office of Regulatory Services.
As members have highlighted, there is a range of other mechanisms that are being improved and put in place through this bill, and they are all focused on providing for an improved level of operation for the Office of Regulatory Services. I should outline that the government will be presenting a small amendment during the detail stage, and this flows from discussions with the Motor Trades Association.
The Motor Trades Association have raised with me concerns expressed that the new powers for inspectors in the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act 1977 would permit an