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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2020 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 18 June 2020) . . Page.. 1396 ..

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6

Noes 7

Mrs Dunne

Mr Parton

Mr Barr

Mr Ramsay

Mr Hanson

Mr Wall

Ms Berry

Mr Rattenbury

Mrs Kikkert

Ms J Burch

Ms Stephen-Smith

Mr Milligan

Ms Cheyne

Amendment negatived.

Bill, as a whole, agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

Debate resumed from 21 May 2020, on motion by Mr Ramsay:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (6.17): In this pandemic phase of our history, our building industry has come into stark prominence as a sector that is able to make a major contribution to rescuing jobs in our recovery phase. I know that the minister will agree wholeheartedly with me on that. As we have seen in the past few years, there is much that can be done to improve the functioning of our building industry and to support it as a vital element of our community. Work is underway on reforms and improvements on a number of fronts.

It was great to see our federal government very recently passing legislation on a range of measures to combat so-called phoenixing practices, including verification of directors’ identities and improving their accountability. Given that phoenixing costs the Australian economy between $2.9 and $5.1 billion a year, these improvements are most welcome and will help our local industries as much as those across the country generally.

At the territory level, I must give Mr Ramsay a well-deserved compliment for taking the trouble to fix up one of the promises made by his colleague Mr Gentleman way back in June 2016. This bill establishes a number of sensible and practical measures to unclog the residential building dispute resolution process and, in doing so, allows the industry to work more smoothly. That is a good thing for Canberra.

We have a building industry on the verge of dropping to its knees as it weathers the frightening storm created by the COVID pandemic. The crisis has impacted consumer confidence, the financial sector that supports the building industry, its suppliers, and the viability of small and large building businesses alike. It does not matter if a building business is a sole trader, a mum and dad company or a much larger enterprise; they all contribute to the strength of the territory’s economy by sustaining

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