Page 1462 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2009

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That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.48): The government will be opposing this last-ditch attempt to deprive residents of the ACT of important consumer protection when they purchase a unit title property. This bill is a dangerous attempt to tinker at the last minute with a carefully drafted piece of legislation. It is legislation on the run, proposed by a member who not only opposes proper consumer protection but also does not understand the act she is seeking to amend.

The bill is a stunt by a Liberal opposition who are determined to oppose for the sake of opposition. The process of the development of this rushed, last-minute amendment and the second, even more rushed amendment, exposes one thing very clearly: Mrs Dunne does not understand the legislation that she is now seeking to interfere with at the last moment. She seeks to legislate on something that she simply does not understand. Nor has she sought to take the proper and responsible steps to inform herself.

This legislation has a simple history. Mrs Dunne went to a public meeting on 19 March with the Owners Corporation Network. There she gauged the mood of the crowd, sent a quick text to Zed, got instructions and told the meeting on the spot that she had been authorised to develop the legislation. This is legislation by SMS, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Dunne’s complex legislative development process can therefore really be summarised in three stages: attend the public meeting; receive instructions from the leader by SMS at said meeting; instruct parliamentary counsel; introduce legislation. Mrs Dunne has seen an interest group agitating for an outcome and she has blindly followed their requests without a care in the world for the policy issues and outcomes.

Let us be very clear about this, Mr Speaker. Mrs Dunne has not once since that public meeting sought a briefing on this legislation from me or my department. She is the shadow Attorney-General and she has not once sought the opinions of the experts in my department who have been involved in developing this complex and important piece of legislation. The content of this bill demonstrates that all too clearly.

Mrs Dunne’s approach to legislative development can be contrasted to the real work, effort and consultation that have gone into developing the unit titles legislation that Mrs Dunne seeks to derail. I would like to detail this process, because these often-made claims of a lack of consultation should be put in their appropriate context. On 10 August 2006, I, as then Minister for Planning, announced the commencement of consultation, an online survey and the engagement of Gary Bugden as consultant to assist in the review.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR CORBELL: The opposition are not interested, Mr Speaker, in listening to the content of the critique. They are more interested in making silly jokes amongst

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