Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Boarding house legislation introduced to parliament

17 October 2012

Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance has today introduced the Boarding Houses Bill 2012 into the NSW Parliament, which will deliver greater protections to some of the state's most vulnerable residents.

"The O'Farrell Government's boarding house reform is a major milestone in correcting the injustices within the industry that were ignored for more than a decade by the previous Labor government," Mr Constance said.

"For the first time in NSW, people living in boarding houses will have occupancy rights, including the right to reasonable notice before eviction and the right to live in premises that are clean and secure."

"The new legislation will also require all boarding houses to be registered, operators will face increased penalties for non-compliance, and officials will have increased powers of entry."

"Our legislation is aimed at getting the balance right in terms of maintaining the viability of the boarding house industry, while ensuring safeguards are in place for residents so that people live in clean and well run accommodation."

Mr Constance said the legislation is long overdue and comes after the former Labor government spent 16 years reviewing the regulations.

"We have seen situations where residents have been subjected to abuse and neglect, highlighting the inadequacy of the existing legislation and the need for reform," Mr Constance said.

"The Ombudsman has also produced three reports in seven years that have been critical of the slow pace of legislative reform in this sector."

"But the fact is the NSW Liberals & Nationals have done in 16 months what the former Labor government couldn't do in 16 years."

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