Page 958 - Week 03 - Thursday, 3 April 2008

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Mr Stefaniak: Where’s your land bank? Why is there a housing shortage?

Mrs Dunne: We were interested in what you did to drive up the cost of housing.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne!

MR CORBELL: Aren’t they interested in providing appropriate consumer protection for people in the rental market? You are just not interested. You just do not care. You just do not care about people in these circumstances.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Corbell, resume your seat, please. Stop the clock for a moment, please. Members of the opposition will come to order. There will be no further interjections.

MR CORBELL: This is an issue that the government treats very seriously. There are a range of issues that need to be addressed in dealing with the housing pressures that our community and every other community around the country are facing. The government has announced significant reforms in the areas of housing affordability—

Mr Stefaniak: Lack of planning. Land tax.

MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Mr Stefaniak.

MR CORBELL: land release and a range of other measures. But that does not mean that consumer protection should be neglected. Indeed, there is every reason to ensure that consumer protection is maintained at a period when the market is placing significant pressures on a range of market participants. These are the sorts of issues that I am committed to pursuing and investigating.

I have previously announced that I am seeking the views of relevant stakeholders on what steps can be taken to improve the operation of the Residential Tenancies Act. I have recently made formal written approaches to a range of interested stakeholders, including organisations that represent tenants, landlords and real estate agents. I am seeking their views on their concerns in regard to the operation of the act.

I am committed to consulting as widely as possible to gather the broadest range of views necessary so that we can guide reforms that are appropriate. But the key issue is to address the issue of abuses of the existing legislation. It is not acceptable, for example, for a person who is renting a property to enter into an agreement with a tenant that they—that is, the property owner or the agent—will meet the costs of water bills but then at the same time later renege on that agreement. (Time expired.)


MS PORTER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Can the Chief Minister please explain the significance of the ACT innovation report he released on 19 March.

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