Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 2 Hansard (29 February) . . Page.. 326..
This amendment and my amendment No. 4 relate to the staffing of the corporation. The Bill proposes that the chief executive be appointed by the board of the corporation on the terms and conditions the board determines. The employees of the corporation are also employed under whatever terms and conditions that the board of the corporation determines. This is in contrast to the provision that is common across virtually all statutory authorities in the ACT - that the chief executive and staff are still public servants, with their terms and conditions determined in accordance with the Public Sector Management Act. Even the Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation, which is probably the closest organisation we currently have to this new corporation, has its chief executive and staff appointed as public servants, so I was surprised to hear the Chief Minister's response to this amendment.
I believe, as a general principle, that all people who are employed by ACT government agencies should be employed on similar terms and conditions. We should not be setting up different employment conditions across different organisations within the ACT Government. I am worried that this Bill may be a thin edge of the wedge in promoting the Liberal Party's industrial relations ideology, which ideally would want all workers to be on individual contracts and would want to destroy workers' ability to collectively bargain with their employers. I do not see any justification of why the people employed by the stadiums corporation should be treated differently to other public employees. My amendment therefore copies the staffing provisions that are found in a number of other pieces of legislation relating to statutory authorities.
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (11.03): Mr Speaker, fairly obviously, the Government will not be supporting either of the amendments that Ms Tucker has just spoken about. Ms Tucker proposes that the chief executive be appointed to an executive office in the Public Service. It is simply ridiculous to suggest that heading an authority running a large stadium, Bruce Stadium, should somehow come under the same terms and conditions as somebody heading up the Chief Minister's Department. It strikes me that they are two somewhat different jobs, Mr Speaker.
I am sure we all, even Ms Tucker, want the stadium to have the flexibility to operate in the environment that it needs to, and that is not nine to five, five days a week. It is not even 24 hours a day. It needs, I suppose, a very spasmodic approach. Games are usually at night or in the afternoon. The times that people are required are simply very different from in the more traditional parts of the Public Service, Mr Speaker. We do need to ensure that this Bill gives maximum flexibility to the corporation to meet their commercial needs, and Ms Tucker's amendments would significantly undermine that. It is simply ridiculous to tie the authority's hands to the extent that Ms Tucker would like.
MR QUINLAN (11.04): Mr Speaker, the ALP will not support this amendment because we would like to see a business appointment made. We envisage that in the early days there may be some shaking out periods and appointments, and we would like to see the authority operate as a business.
However, to save time, I might just add to that. We are moved to support the following amendment in relation to staff. I am pretty sure that the Public Service conditions allow for part-time and temporary staff. I am concerned, if the authority does need managerial staff, that there is the capacity for interchange between the stadium and other arms of