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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 45..


MR MOORE: We have only to look back at your record, Wayne Berry, to understand that. There is some reluctance to accept this offer on the part of some members of the union. There is no doubt in my mind that if a democratic process operates-a secret ballot, as happened with the 83 per cent of nurses at Calvary-and if this misinformation stops, we will see an overwhelming willingness to accept this offer. I think the union ought to agree with management that the appropriate thing to do is to go to a vote and ask the nurses themselves what they think of the package.

MR OSBORNE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Minister, I understand that the union put some of its concerns to you in writing last Thursday. Is that so? Have you given the union a response? If not, when do you intend to do so?

MR MOORE: No, that is not the case. It is the case that I have seen a copy of the resolution passed. That resolution starts by saying, "We will bypass management and negotiate with the minister." That is not possible because I will not negotiate with them. It is appropriate for management to negotiate that offer with them. That is not my role and it has never been my role; I have never done it.

Should the union seek a meeting with me I will be happy, as always, to meet with them. I have deliberately stayed completely out of the negotiations because I think that the matter is one for the management of the hospital, community care and Calvary to negotiate with their nurses. In the case of Calvary there were extra negotiations. They had some flexibility and they worked that into their negotiations. I would not mind if the Canberra Hospital did that. The government has said that it will put in a level of money if it gets a particular return for it.

It should be remembered that it is not just a case of saying that the pay rise will be approximately 12 per cent. For some nurses it will be much more and for some nurses it will be a bit less. But for those nurses working night shifts there will be a very significant increase in their salary package. I would strongly urge nurses to take advantage of what is the most generous offer that any government in Australia has made for as long as I can remember.

Commonwealth properties-proposed sale

MR WOOD: My question is to the Chief Minister. Mr Humphries, you would be aware now that the Commonwealth government proposes to sell three prime sites for development-one at Barton adjacent to the Kingston foreshore project and two car parks in the south-western sector of the CBD. And I understand that there may be others. Mr Humphries, when did you become aware of the Commonwealth's plans to sell these sites? Was it only yesterday? Apart from the considerable planning concern, what impact will the sale have on the government's strategic planning for the city? In particular, what impact will the redevelopment of the two central district car parks have on the government's plans to sell the car park it owns on the corner of London Circuit and Edinburgh Avenue for a mixed commercial/residential development?

MR SMYTH: I might take that question, as it comes more appropriately within my portfolio. We have ongoing negotiations and conversations with the NCA and the federal government about release of their land. The curious thing about this is that Labor's planning spokesman just months ago was saying that we should be selling off


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