Local Government and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012

Hon. GW ELMES (Noosa—LNP) (Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier) (3.28 pm): Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Mr Crisafulli: Talk about party houses

Mr ELMES: I will. It is with great pleasure that I rise to speak on the Local Government and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012. Can I say that that pleasure comes in part from speaking in support of the very first bill which my colleague the Minister for Local Government and member for Mundingburra has introduced into this place, and congratulations to him on a fine piece of legislation. I also acknowledge the work that the committee has done very diligently in presenting their report.

I propose to address my comments only to two sections of the bill, clauses 17 and 168. With regard to clause 17 of the bill, I commend the minister for the proposed change which addresses an election commitment which the Premier made on 22 November 2011 in an interview with Jessica Lawrence on A Current Affair to give councils ‘the tools to do the job’. It also fulfils my promise to my electors and a promise to which my colleague the Leader of the House and Assistant Minister to the Premier on egovernment and the member for Mermaid Beach made to his constituents as well.

Indeed, the member for Mermaid Beach and I have campaigned on this issue for more than three years. The issue of party houses has been a matter of great concern to the member for Mermaid Beach and to me as the member for Noosa. It has been an issue of monumental concern to those residents unfortunate enough to live adjacent to one. It has been a concern to moteliers who have seen some of their business leaked to inappropriate and unfair competition, competitors who deliberately flouted the intent of planning laws solely to pursue their personal interests. Those interests have been at the expense of the neighbours to their purpose-built party houses. Those party houses do not normally meet fire safety or emergency evacuation standards or any of the other proper safety infrastructure that is required of genuine holiday accommodation. Neither do they provided adequate parking. Can I suggest that they are the Indian mynas of the accommodation world. They come in where they are not wanted and they disrupt the natural order. They have little concern for anyone but themselves and they can be relentlessly noisy.

Clause 17 of the bill empowers local governments or local councils to ‘make a local law that makes the owner of a residential property liable to a penalty because of excessive noise regularly emitted from the property’. The bill makes further prescriptions about what an owner is and what a residential property is amongst other aspects.

The Newman government has indicated its intention in a number of cases now that it is determined that local people develop local solutions to local problems. This is a clear case in point. The Newman government does not see a one-size-fits-all solution to this issue. It is enabling the appropriate local authority to develop a local solution in partnership with its community which will address the issues for all affected parties. I hope that the Sunshine Coast Regional Council moves speedily to address, as a high priority, its responsibility to its ratepayers and residents. Can I say though that the Gold Coast City Council appears to have been more proactive in this regard.