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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3032..


MR BERRY (continuing):

The only thing that I can link it to is this issue of State rights; that we have to have one just like Victoria probably, or maybe just like Western Australia. Otherwise, it makes no sense because we have in place the authority that deals with these issues. Mind you, the ACT Government would not have much say in the appointment of the people to that authority, which would be a good thing, I suggest. Of course, that level of independence might be something that they are not too happy about. From Labor's point of view, we are happy about the independence of it, and we are happy that the ACT taxpayer does not have to pay for it.

The Commonwealth, as I said earlier, will be responsible for dealing with the overwhelming number of ACT public servants in so far as their wages and working conditions are concerned. So why set up a statutory authority for a few of your senior public servants, for a few of the judiciary and for politicians? What sort of a message does that send to the community?

Mrs Carnell: Do you want to have enterprise bargaining here? Is that what you want?

MR BERRY: If you wanted enterprise bargaining here and the community was the arbitrator, I know where you would end up. Let us face a few facts. Taken on your record, if you put your work value case on the basis of what you have done thus far, I know what you would end up with.

Mr De Domenico: A bigger majority. That is what we would end up with, and you know that.

MR BERRY: I am sure the people out at Charnwood who have had their school closed would be lining up to vote for you! They would love it! The people who use Kippax Health Centre, the 5,000 people who signed the petition in relation to the health centres, just cannot wait to vote for you, I am sure! What a joke you people are!

This just adds another dimension to the nonsense that this Government is prepared to go through in order that it can implement some ideological position in relation to having similar things to what other States have. The fact is that we have it for nothing now. Why would you want to create an extra cost to the community, as I said, when we have now all of these difficulties that Mrs Carnell keeps pointing to in relation to public utilities? I will go over them again - schools, education generally, the health system, and the list goes on, Mrs Carnell.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (12.09), in reply: Mr Speaker, I was very interested to hear Mr Berry's comments. At this stage I know quite a lot about industrial relations. We are spending a lot of time talking about it with the unions and so on. I do not believe that the Industrial Relations Commission sets salaries or wages any longer. My understanding - obviously, Mr Berry would know lots more about this than I would; ha, ha! - is that the Industrial Relations Commission sets out the processes and then we have this thing called enterprise bargaining. Enterprise bargaining, the process we are currently in, sets up and determines on agreed outcomes for salaries. I think that any view that the Industrial Relations Commission sets wages for people out there may be somewhat out of date, Mr Berry.


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