Thursday 10 November 2005

Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, I suppose there is one main test for this bill and that is: will it help consumers and in this case, the buyers and sellers of real estate? There are also other tests such as, most importantly, is it workable? But how are we to know, Mr President, because the basis for legislation to regulate any industry is through consultation. You ask the experts, those who manage the buying and selling of real estate. That part of the process, as we have witnessed today, seems to be in some disarray. I hear what the Leader says about the Government wanting to represent the public interest, but 100 principal licensees in Tasmania's real estate industry apparently disagree with parts of this bill.

Ten of us in this House have received a letter from members of the Tasmanian Real Estate Institute expressing their reservations about the bill, and of course we have had our briefings today, and from those members of the Real Estate Institute we have heard of their desire to have the bill adjourned. We thank very much Gordon Humphreys, John Soundy and Allan Hart, and of course Roy Ormerod for the comprehensive briefing that we have had. Fifty?eight members of the industry are reported to have emphatically rejected the unlimited number of unregulated and unmanaged real estate offices, as originally proposed in clause 7 of the bill, and now apparently to be amended. At least 10 leading real estate agents want clause 189 amended. Among other things, they strongly disagree with clause 33(2), but as we have heard in the briefing, that is going to be changed.

We have just heard about the errors that have been found in the legislation, and they are being worked on as we go through the process. That is just legislation on the run, as we have experienced recently in this House, and I do not think it is an appropriate way for us to go about our business. As I have mentioned in speeches before in the House, I am very concerned about consultation, and I think that is an easy part of the process. Just consult with people. Even if they disagree with what the Government is trying to achieve, give them the chance to have their say and why they disagree with the Government, and then move on. At least people have had the chance to have their say.

I have touched on a few of the concerns that have been expressed, Mr President, but there is enough evidence here to indicate that there needs to be more finetuning of this bill. We have seen representatives here today, and very high?calibre people who have taken the trouble to come and join us here with the assertion that they are prepared now to closely examine this bill, to have that extra consultation and to make sure that people have the opportunity to finetune the bill. The principles of the bill are not in question, just some of those finer points. This is not a piece of legislation with any urgency. I believe it needs more consultation and close scrutiny, and I therefore move -

That the debate be adjourned.