Residential Tenancies Amendment (Long-term Tenancy Agreements) Bill 2017
I would just like to say a few words on this issue, and in doing so I have no criticism to make of either side in this house.
I would say that this is an important piece of legislation.
It reflects a significant change in the way people are housing themselves in our community; there are many more people now renting and there are many more people who are homeless.
There is a real need to address the issue of rights of tenants in a meaningful way.
I have received a number of emails in past months while this issue has indeed been discussed in the community — the idea of longer leases for tenants to give them some security — and I have saved those emails because when the bill is introduced I want to go to those people and talk to them about the issues they have raised with me. I ask you to reflect on what it is like to be an Independent member — the only Independent member in this place, dare I say. That puts me in a position where every time I need to vote I need to understand what the issues are and I need to make a serious decision in relation to my vote.
With a bill such as this it is important to me to have time to consider it. Whether it is 13 days or 14 days is of very little consequence to me, really. What I would like to see is a bill of this nature actually put before the house and left for some time, perhaps several more weeks, to give me the opportunity to do that. At the moment I am absolutely overwhelmed meeting people on the assisted dying legislation. To now have an important piece of legislation like this brought in quickly to be dealt with is a real challenge in terms of how I might be able to find the time to consult with all the people that I would like to across a range of serious pieces of legislation. So I would ask the government to reconsider its position on this and to allow this bill to sit before the house for a longer period of time to enable full consultation with our constituents in our electorates to take place.