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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1397..


POSTPONEMENT OF NOTICE

MR BERRY: Pursuant to standing order 127, I fix a later hour for moving the motion relating to Journey of Healing 1999.

POSTPONEMENT OF ORDERS OF THE DAY

Motion (by Mr Humphries ) agreed to:

That orders of the day Nos 1 to 4, Private Members' business, relating to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 1998, the Coroners (Amendment) Bill 1998, the Oaths and Affirmations (Amendment) Bill 1998 and the Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1998 be postponed until a later hour this day.

BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TRAINING LEVY BILL 1999

Debate resumed from 21 April 1999, on motion by Mr Berry:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (4.54): Mr Speaker, the Government will not be supporting this Bill. This decision reflects careful consideration and wide consultation on the issue as recently as last year. Whilst a training levy is aimed at improving skill levels, we believe that it is the industry itself which needs to develop such a long-term strategy, through self-regulation rather than a compulsory levy. There is, Mr Speaker, a distinct line between what is a government responsibility and what is not. It must also be remembered that the Government already offers a very high level of support to the building and construction industry, and rightly so.

Mr Speaker, in November 1997 a discussion paper was released on funding training in the industry. That paper canvassed three options involving introduction of a levy, developing an industry managed scheme, or continuing arrangements that were then in place for the construction industry training fund under the Long Service Leave (Building and Construction Industry) Act of 1981. We also sent out an exposure draft Bill. That was circulated as a means of clarifying the extent of regulation and administration that would be required if a levy were introduced. That exposure draft, Mr Speaker, was circulated late in 1997. It brought out the administrative complexity of a levy such as this. The effort and cost of compliance was a major consideration in the Government's decision not to proceed. A number of other factors were relevant too, Mr Speaker, which I will come to later. Indeed, it was not until the detail was fleshed out through the process of drafting a Bill that the full weight of the administrative complexity for a system the size of the ACT became apparent.


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