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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2715..


Debate resumed from 26 June 1997, on motion by Mrs Carnell:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR BERRY (Leader of the Opposition) (10.48): Mr Speaker, the Opposition will be supporting this Bill. This Bill merely changes the reference to a tribunal from the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal to the ACT Remuneration Tribunal across a host of statutory authorities and those sorts of organisations. It is a mechanical Bill, and one that we have no difficulty with.

MS TUCKER (10.49): Obviously, the Greens are a bit concerned about this. We were concerned about the setting up of the original Remuneration Tribunal in the ACT. We sought to have the proposition sent to a committee at that time. We were hoping that the Public Accounts Committee could look at particular issues, the first one being whether we needed our own Remuneration Tribunal and the second one being whether there were any possible mechanisms to link public office-holder and contract employee salaries and conditions to those of permanent ACT public sector employees to avoid a wage blow-out at the senior executive level. It has come up in this place since. On a couple of occasions, Mr Osborne was concerned after he received answers to questions on notice. We will continue to put submissions to the Remuneration Tribunal to address these particular issues. So far, we have not received more than acknowledgment of the concerns that we have raised; but we are still not convinced that there has actually been any real benefit at all from having our own, and there has been a cost to the ACT.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (10.50), in reply: Mr Speaker, the passage of this Bill at this time is important, as the removal of contradictory references dealing with remuneration and other entitlements for statutory office-holders will enable the Remuneration Tribunal to review the statutory offices and appointments at a hearing scheduled for 7 November 1997 - this year - Mr Speaker. The passing of this Bill will also complete the process, established by the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1995, of providing an independent process for determining and reviewing remuneration and other entitlements for statutory and non-statutory office-holders. I thank those members of the Assembly who are planning to support this legislation. Mr Speaker, I am very pleased that this process is finally going to come to completion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

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