I seek leave to make an explanation before asking the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, representing the Minister for Social Justice, a question about the review of the Retirement Villages Act.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: As part of its commitment to the need to ensure that legislation remains relevant, the previous government reviewed the regulations of the Retirement Villages Act 1987. A substantially sized paper entitled ‘Issues associated with the regulations under the Retirement Villages Act 1987’ was released for public discussion in January 2000. Following extensive consultation, the Retirement Villages (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill was introduced in this chamber on 23 October 2001, debated and passed the following month and assented to on 15 January 2002. Arising from this process it has been determined to review the act itself.
A seven-page document is available on the DHS web site dated June 2003 and entitled, ‘Progress report on review of the Retirement Villages Act 1987’. This document refers to the preparation of a paper which it anticipates will be finalised for the consideration of the minister during August 2003. The document states that this will then allow for further input from interested parties prior to any draft legislation being prepared for introduction to parliament. My questions are:
1. Has the minister received such a discussion paper as anticipated in the aforementioned document and, if so, on what date did the minister receive it and when will she release it for public comment?
2. If the minister has not received it, when does she expect to do so and when will it be released for public comment?
3. Has the Department of Human Services been given ministerial approval to approach parliamentary counsel for the drafting of amendments to the act?
4. If so, why has a comprehensive process of consultation not been adhered to prior to its drafting and in accordance with the process as outlined in the government’s own document to which I referred earlier, ‘Progress report on the review of the Retirement Villages Act 1987’?
The Hon. T.G. ROBERTS (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation): I will refer that question to the minister in another place and bring back a reply.
Monday 19 July 2004
In reply to Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15 September 2003).
The Hon. T.G. ROBERTS: The Minister for Ageing has advised:
Please see the response to questions asked by the honourable member on 24 September 2003.