Page 2686 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 July 2008

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Government Procurement (Principles) Guideline 2002 (No 2), various acts under which departments operate as well as the requirements of various funding programs.

The committee has also suggested a note be included in relation to the privilege against self-incrimination. However, Parliamentary Counsel’s Office has suggested including this in a future statute law amendment bill, which I will request that they do.

The final question put by the committee is: should there be provision for review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of a decision under proposed subsection 25T (1) to “remove a registered housing provider from the register if the provider breaches a condition of registration”? I refer to my earlier comments about the registration and monitoring guidelines, which will contain more detailed information on these processes. As noted above, the Assembly will have an opportunity to amend or disallow these.

Since there will be negotiation with an agency in the course of monitoring their continuing satisfaction of the conditions of registration, followed by written reasons as to why removal from the register is occurring, there should be ample opportunity for the organisation to put its case to remain on the register. Therefore, there is no need for the decision to be reviewed further.

The bill will establish a regulatory framework which underpins some of this government’s work to provide more affordable housing. The regulatory framework will help assure potential investors in the sector of the robustness of oversight of not-for-profit housing providers.

To reiterate the words of my colleague Mr Corbell in his presentation speech, regulation of the sector is necessary for the benefit of the Canberra community to protect the interests of tenants, many of whom are vulnerable and experiencing disadvantage; ensure that public funds provided for affordable housing activities are appropriately managed and utilised; and preserve transferred government assets for future generations.

I want to make sure it is on the record that, in response to a request put to me by Dr Foskey’s office, the guidelines which underpin the operation of this act, the guidelines which will be the sharp end, I suppose, will be developed in consultation with the stakeholders who are going to be affected by those guidelines. Not only will they be notifiable and disallowable, depending on which ones we are talking about, they will be developed in consultation with the people that they will affect.

In fact, we have a good record within the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services for doing just that. This is not the first time where we have done some very major reforms and then the guidelines which attach themselves to those reforms have been developed in partnership with stakeholders. That is why the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services are world’s best in consultation processes.

I would also like to make the point that this is a double-edged protection. This legislation is about protecting public assets and having a process which can stand up

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