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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 27 October 2015) . . Page.. 3673 ..

perhaps the most significant community issue that has come before this place in 25 years. It directly impacts over 1,000 home owners and their families across 56 of our city’s suburbs and, by extension, the legacy will be felt by close to 12,000 neighbours and around 127,000 people when the demolition spreads throughout suburbs.

The first stage of the loose-fill asbestos insulation eradication scheme comprised the voluntary buyback program through which the territory offered to purchase affected properties at a value that ignored the presence of loose-fill asbestos. This stage of the scheme is drawing to a conclusion with the territory having made over 1,000 offers on these properties. The Building (Loose-fill Asbestos Eradication) Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 that we are debating this afternoon, which was first presented to the Assembly on 24 September this year, looks to the stages of the scheme that now follow the buyback program.

The bill contains a number of legislative amendments to streamline processes for demolishing these affected premises and selling the remediated blocks so that new homes can be rebuilt as soon as possible. The legislation to be amended includes the Building Act 2004, the Building and Construction Industry Training Levy Act 1999, the Dangerous Substances General Regulation 2004, the Land Rent Act 2008, the Land Regulation 2008 and the Planning and Development Act 2007.

Amendments to the Building Act 2004 recognise that the territory is undertaking demolitions of affected premises on a bulk scale and has measures in place to ensure the safety and compliance of such demolitions. And rather than having to seek a building approval for each individual demolition, the amendments introduce an alternative mechanism where the Construction Occupations Registrar may instead issue a demolition order for demolitions that are relatively straightforward, thereby authorising the territory to demolish the building without going through the full building approval process or needing to engage a private certifier. The registrar will be provided with documentation of a similar level to that which would have been provided for the building approval process and will also be provided with evidence that relevant utilities have been consulted in relation to the demolition planning and execution. Where the Construction Occupations Registrar decides that an additional level of oversight is needed, a building approval will be required. The provision to apply for a demolition order applies only to loose-fill asbestos affected residential premises where demolition is undertaken by the territory and recognises that safety and compliance controls are also in place through procurement requirements for demolition contractors and, importantly, through work health and safety regulation.

As a consequence of introducing demolition orders, amendments are needed to the Building and Construction Industry Training Levy Act 1999. Training makes an important contribution to safety in the building and construction industry. In the ACT, along with four other states, a levy is collected on construction work in order to identify and meet training needs for the industry. Under this act the payment of the training levy, including the method for calculating the value of the levy to be paid, is currently linked to work requiring building approval. To account for any demolitions of affected properties that are conducted by the territory under a demolition order instead of a building approval, the bill amends this act to provide an alternative

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