Page 48 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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contravention of section 42 can be proven. This bill also clarifies the current legislation relating to completion of building work in response to a recent Supreme Court decision.

Regarding the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004 and Construction Occupations (Licensing) Regulation 2004, the bill amends matters relating to rectification orders and occupational discipline. The maximum penalty for intentionally failing to comply with a rectification order is now 10 times the previous penalty to reflect the seriousness of the offence and expense that may be involved in the rectification work. The bill also recognises that there are cases where it may be inappropriate to issue a rectification order to the entity responsible for the construction work. This bill allows the registrar to take occupational discipline in relation to a licensee while at the same time make an application for an occupational discipline order from ACAT.

Regarding the Electricity Safety Act 1971 and the Electricity Safety Regulation 2004, the bill amends the requirements for rectification of unsafe wiring and makes it clear that if an entity is not licensed, qualified, authorised or does not hold the relevant skills or experience required to rectify the wiring, it must arrange and pay for an appropriately qualified person to complete the work. The bill also amends the minimum energy performance standard and energy labelling requirements to reflect the introduction of the commonwealth Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012.

Regarding the Energy Efficiency (Cost of Living) Improvement Act 2012, the bill amends the requirements for annual retailer compliance reporting. The amendments will reduce reporting requirements for retailers that do not operate in the territory.

In conclusion, the opposition will support the bill. We hope the amendments it contains will make it easier for those in the construction industry who want to do the right thing. However, it is incumbent upon the government to ensure that those in the sector understand that these changes will be going through the Legislative Assembly today, and the government should ensure that information about these changes is conveyed to all registered operators in the ACT.

The opposition recognises the vital role the construction industry plays in Canberra. We will pay close attention to the implementation of these new provisions to ensure they simplify processes rather than add further red tape to an already heavily regulated industry.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (12.24): The Greens will support this bill today. I am pleased to see many of the improvements in this bill before us today, including to the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act, to other building and construction acts as well as to the Energy Efficiency (Cost of Living) Improvement Act.

ACTPLA’s continued to work to ensure a high quality of building and development as well as safe workplaces is very important. I note that there are also a range of provisions in this bill that streamline the reporting requirements for electricity retailers to make it simpler to comply with legislation, especially if they are not involved in undertaking energy efficiency activities.

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