Page 722 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 26 February 2013

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As part of ensuring harmonisation of the ACT scheme with that in New South Wales, regulations based on the regulations in that state are currently being finalised. These regulations have been the subject of community consultation with residents, industry representatives and individual retirement village operators.

In this regard, it was pleasing to see a joint submission from the ACT Retirement Village Residents Association, the Property Council of Australia and the Aged and Community Services Association of NSW and ACT. To see a joint submission from those three groups, groups that represent residents, groups that represent the owners, groups that represent the broader industry association, is I think a credit to the work done by Ms Porter in engaging with all of those groups and ultimately securing their support for a scheme that improves the consumer protections for those who choose to live in retirement villages.

On behalf of the government, I would like to thank all those involved for their feedback and for working closely with the government to ensure workable solutions for the retirement village market. Their contribution has been invaluable.

When I introduced this bill I took members through what it does, so I do not propose to do so again. While the amendments it contains are important, they are largely technical. They will also ensure that there are no unintended effects on other legislation arising from the commencement of this act. The bill and its amendments will allow for the smooth commencement of the Retirement Villages Act next month. Many people, including Ms Porter, have worked extremely hard both on the bill itself, these amendments and the other consequential regulations that are required. I would like to thank them all, particularly the officials in my directorate.

This bill has involved significant negotiation with stakeholders who have given freely of their time and expertise. Once again, I thank them for their willingness to contribute to this process. The commencement of the new retirement villages scheme is an important step forward in consumer protection for older people in the ACT. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 11.07 am to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Health—general practitioners

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. In today’s Canberra Times classified section, there is a “notice of practice closure” for the Spence Medical Centre. It states the reason for the closure as follows:

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