Page 3664 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 27 October 2015
Just to outline our approach, so that people understand what our position is, we will be supporting the bill in principle but we will not be supporting the amendments. Should the amendments be supported and then form part of the bill, we will not be supporting the bill. So it is the amendments we have the problem with. I can indicate—although it is not part of this legislative package that we are debating here—that, with respect to the Mr Fluffy disallowable instrument which, as I said, was tabled just after question time, we will not be supporting that either. I will go through this now in more detail.
As I said the bill contains administrative items that will enable the government to deliver its Mr Fluffy buyback scheme. We would like to get to a point where we are, where possible, supporting the government with this process, but, as has become evident as this plan has rolled out, there is a range of issues that we have concerns about, not only in this bill but also in DV 343 and the inquiry that Mr Coe spoke to earlier today.
We will not be supporting the amendments, as discussed. Essentially they add the properties to the Mr Fluffy buyback list in a manner which does not recognise the special nature of those duplex properties that I talked about before. The amendments also give the minister unfettered power to add properties to the Mr Fluffy buyback list, including those properties that do not have amosite asbestos.
As I said we will not be supporting the disallowable instrument that is associated, although not in a formal sense, with this bill. In this instrument the Chief Minister proposes to create a new group of Mr Fluffy home owners. We will not be supporting the disallowable instrument if it retrospectively changes the land rent arrangements available to Mr Fluffy home owners. Ultimately, it changes the rules. If Mr Fluffy home owners had known what they were signing up to with the land rent scheme in the first place, there is an argument that what the government was doing would be okay. But you cannot change the rules midway through a process. I will go to those elements a bit later. I will deal with the bill now.
There are some good things in the bill. As I said, in principle, we support it. Amongst other things, it contains arrangements to enable the government to facilitate the demolition and resale of Mr Fluffy houses and provides the legislative apparatus to enable the option, for a limited number of eligible home owners, to take up a land rent option. So we support the ability for them to take up the land rent option; it is the elements of the disallowable instrument that give us great cause for concern.
The bill amends seven acts and regulations: the Building Act 2004, the Building and Construction Industry Training Levy Act 1999, the Building (General) Regulation 2008, the Dangerous Substances (General) Regulation 2004, the Planning and Development Act 2007, the Land Rent Act 2008, and the Land Rent Regulation 2008. Largely, this is about helping the government and making life easier for the government, but they are largely non-controversial and we support those major elements of the bill. In the interests of brevity, I will not repeat them because they are outlined pretty clearly and they have been outlined in presentation speeches.