Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 3903..
MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):
improvement has occurred, particularly at centres near major employment centres where there has been a growth in functions such as cafes and restaurants. Local centres perform well against equity, accessibility and sustainability objectives. (Time expired.)
MR SPEAKER: The discussion on the matter of public importance is concluded.
Order of the day—postponement
Ordered that order of the day No 1, executive business, be postponed until a later hour.
Long Service Leave (Contract Cleaning Industry) Amendment Bill 2006
Debate resumed from 16 November 2006, on motion by Mr Barr:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (5.35): This is a relatively simple bill, although we have a number of issues in relation to it. Firstly, might I express a little bit of disappointment in relation to the lack of detail in the explanatory memorandum about the proposed change. The issue is actually about removing a sunset clause linked to section 64 of the Long Service Leave (Contract Cleaning Industry) Act. The amendment will keep section 64 (6) of that act operating beyond 31 December 2006; hence the fact that the minister wants it debated and passed now.
We would have liked some more assessment in the explanatory memorandum and statement in relation to the implications of that step. There may be implications for pro rata long service leave to apply after a period. Again, there is no discussion about that.
Under this particular section of the bill it seems that, if workers are covered by both the Long Service Leave Act and the Long Service Leave (Contract Cleaning Industry) Act, they can opt to take long service leave under the Long Service Leave Act after seven years as opposed to 10 years. They take that at a pro rata rate, which I understand is 6.7 weeks as opposed to the 10 weeks or so they would get if they waited the full 10 years. That is the effect of section 64 (6). That is what has been occurring, as I understand it, for the last couple of years, and that would continue to occur.
There is another disturbing factor in relation to this bill. I was surprised to find out, when we did the check with the major employer group—that is, the chamber of commerce—that they had not been consulted at all. It might seem small beer to remove a sunset clause and continue a bill, but I would have thought, as a common courtesy, a government that supposedly prides itself on consultation—not that we have seen too much of that around here recently—would have consulted.
They omitted to consult with the largest employer representative group in the territory. I hope that was just an inadvertent omission—or is that in fact indicative of perhaps