Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Madam Acting President, I do not have any issue with this amendment bill. I remember debating these issues at length on a previous occasion but it still staggers me that we are actually here debating this.
I have asked this question before and I will ask it again: why are we dealing with, in a bill, the number of cooking elements? Why is it in legislation and not in the regulation? These things change - modern cooking techniques change. In many countries, particularly in the United States, people do not even have kitchens anymore. Not that I am saying we need to head down that path, but once you put so much prescription in an act, you have the devil's own job of changing it at times. Why is this not in the regulation? That is where things of such a prescriptive nature are supposed to be. That is my question about the cooking elements or hotplates, or whatever you want to call them, and with induction cooktops, what do we call those? They are still cooking elements, I guess.
I do not have an issue with setting minimum standards. It is reasonable to expect tenants to have reasonable and minimum standards, as we all expect in the homes that we live in. If it is not that way when we buy a place, it is soon remedied. You still have to sell a place with a working stove when you sell a property, or at least make it very clear if it is not and that is part of the deal. That is my first point in question.
This is predominantly about balance. The current restrictions that will be amended through this bill with regard to photographs and other personal items of a tenant could really limit a property owner, in trying to sell or advertise the property for lease or rent again.
As we know, most good tenants do give good notice of their intention to move out, at least adequate notice and do not just vacate and disappear, though some do that. They usually take their stuff with them when they do that and it is not an issue. Sometimes they take stuff that is not theirs as well.
People who do not want to lose that income and want to be able to rent their place out again do need a period when they can promote the property in a way that gives prospective tenants or purchasers the opportunity to see what they are actually renting or buying. Pictures of only the outside of the property do not really show what the property is and may make it more difficult for property owners.
These amendments are sensible. They are tidying up a few issues that were raised and the Leader herself raised. She argued for these quite strongly on a previous occasion from the other side of the Table, if I remember correctly, and here she is correcting them. Isn't that good to see.
I don't think you argued about the hotplates, but you did argue on some other points, which may come later. I do not have an issue with the legislation, but I question why we have this level of prescription in a bill that will become an act, which is much more difficult to change should circumstances change and why it is not in the regulations.