Page 4534 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 18 October 2011

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MR CORBELL: This is based on our assessment of the state of the private rental market at this time. The fact is that it is very difficult to ascertain the entire nature of the stock held in the private rental market. No comprehensive survey has been done in this regard. All we can do is provide reasonable estimates based on our understanding of the nature of the private housing stock.

Mr Speaker, this again highlights a flaw in your bill. It highlights the fact that you have no comprehensive understanding of the impact of your bill on the private rental market, you have no comprehensive understanding of the economic consequences of your bill and you have not prepared in any way a regulatory impact statement for your bill. This is the type of bill that would require a regulatory impact statement. This is the type of bill that should be subject to that level of scrutiny because, if it does have the adverse economic impacts on the private rental market that the government anticipates, that is going to exacerbate the private rental situation for many renters in the ACT: it is going to drive up rents, it is going to reduce the vacancy rate and it is going to have a detrimental impact on renters. This Labor government is not prepared to see that happen to low income people here in the ACT.

MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, why didn’t you make modelling available to the public when you publicised these figures in the Canberra Times, and will you please now table your modelling in the Assembly?

MR CORBELL: When this bill is brought on for debate, the government will be happy to elaborate and to provide further information in relation to all of these issues. This is a Greens bill. The onus is not on the government to explain why the Greens’ bill will not work. The onus is on the Greens to demonstrate why their bill will work. This is not a government bill; this is the Greens’ bill. The onus is on them to demonstrate that their bill will not have adverse impacts and that the concerns the government has are unfounded or unwarranted. The fact is that they have failed to do so and it is incumbent on those who are proposing the legislative change to demonstrate that it is a reasonable change and that it will not have these adverse impacts.

MS HUNTER: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Minister, is it the government’s position that ACT Housing tenants should not expect housing to meet minimum standards, including an EER three-star energy rating?

MR CORBELL: It is the government’s position that we will continue to work to improve the level of sustainability, energy efficiency and water efficiency of government dwellings. We will focus on those dwellings that are most vulnerable and most inefficient, and we have a multimillion dollar program in place to do that.

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