Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 August 2008) . . Page.. 3689 ..
will be a delay in settlements as the owners corporation will no longer be able to contract with its own manager to prepare a budget and the section 75 certificate until the contract has been approved by ACAT. This is from the government that claimed that the Canberra Liberals’ plan for a community hospital board was adding another layer of bureaucracy.
In conclusion, I would like to refer—I think Mr Mulcahy did earlier in his speech, too—to the many representations the opposition have received. We have had people send in pages and pages of what they believe to be issues with this bill. Why is the government so hell-bent on not listening to the people who are on the front line in the community? You obviously think you know better. You obviously know much better about what is supposed to be there and what is not. This is what is wrong with the bill: the people who are right in the front line—the unit title owners—are being treated differently to single title owners; dispute resolution processes are not included in the bill—how bizarre is that; there is no reference to an approved mediator process before recourse to litigation or referral to a civil tribunal; the bill is legislation by exception; it will pit neighbours against neighbours; it includes provisions that do not even belong in unit titles legislation; and it will lead to frivolous and vexatious claims and will overload tribunals. Again, one would have to ask why on earth we are debating such flawed legislation tonight.
This is an absolute crock. It will not be workable. Clearly, there are many major problems with it. Let us get to the facts that are being ignored. This is where the community are not being listened to. There has been no credible consultation with principal stakeholders. How can you have drawn up this legislation without talking to the very people that it is going to impact? The bill ignores or misunderstands the major findings of experts—for example, the Bugden report. The government says: “Let’s just toss out the window the advice of those people who know about it. Let’s ignore their advice.”
I could go on and on with this. It is an absolute travesty that this government are so hell-bent on pushing their legislation program through—we tick the box, yes, we have done that—to the detriment of the community out there. I understand that we are talking of upwards of around 100,000 people that this bill could impact. That is a huge number of people who are being ignored.
In conclusion, what we get from the government that never forgets its enemies but never learns anything is more arrogance, more unworkable, unwieldy bureaucracy and more exorbitant taxing of its citizens. That is why the Canberra Liberals are voting against this bill: it will make housing more unaffordable; it will make the administrative processes more onerous; and it constitutes an effective tax hike on apartment and unit owners and, therefore, wrongly penalises those owners in our community. We will not be supporting the bill.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (9.49): The future of people who live in unit titles is a very important issue. There is mixed opinion in the community about what needs to be done, and there is mixed opinion about the efficacy of the current proposal. That opinion is generally summarised by opinions ranging from complete lack of regard for the proposition put forward by the government and the desire on the part of many