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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 7 August 2008) . . Page.. 3012 ..

needs and concerns of patients, their loved ones, and of health professionals, are all being adequately addressed. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.

Unit Titles Amendment Bill 2008

Mr Barr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations) (11.15): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Unit Titles Amendment Bill 2008 will strengthen the dispute resolution provisions in the Unit Titles Act 2001, will provide further protection for the purchasers of units, especially off-the-plan purchasers, and will better control the actions of owners, corporation managers, the executive committee and its executive members.

Other states have recently reviewed and strengthened their unit titles legislation. For example, in 2004 New South Wales introduced new consumer protection provisions. In 2006, Victoria introduced new unit titles legislation that included dispute resolution procedures. And more recently, Queensland introduced a bill into their state parliament to improve the dispute resolution processes in that state.

The bill that I am tabling today has been in response to the strong public feedback that the current dispute resolution mechanism in the Unit Titles Act was not operating effectively and that there was a need for stronger protection for people who own units in unit plans.

The ACT Planning and Land Authority has taken the lead on this project and engaged Mr Gary Bugden as a specialist consultant. Mr Bugden has over 35 years experience in unit and community title law and practice, including substantial experience in the management of owners corporations.

The Planning and Land Authority, in conjunction with the Department of Justice and Community Safety, adopted a strategic approach to this review. This included reviewing the many complaints and submissions received since the current Unit Titles Act was introduced, participating in extensive consultation with stakeholders, holding five public preliminary consultation sessions and setting up an online survey to broaden participation in the consultation and focus the input.

The public and other stakeholders were provided with written submissions on the proposed review, and these were documented in an issues paper. Stakeholders then had a further opportunity to comment on the issues paper.

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