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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 8 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 2425..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

Chief Minister, have you or any member of your government responded to the archbishop's letters? If so, in what terms?

MR STANHOPE: I have responded by inviting the bishop to a meeting with me, which I am holding, I think, either next week or the week after.

Emergency services—FireLink

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, following the release of the Auditor-General's report on the FireLink project, on ABC radio yesterday you said:

In the first year that we've brought the ESA back within Government, we've addressed the problems with these types of projects. The ESA came in on budget this financial year.

Then, in question time yesterday, you said:

For the first time in three years, this financial year—just past—the ESA came in on budget. It was on budget for the first time in three years.

Minister, if the Emergency Services Agency managed its funds such that it "came in on budget"in 2006-07, why did the agency seek an additional $2.9 million from the Treasurer's advance in June 2007?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Smyth for that question. The ESA sought that amount because it believed that it was not going to come in on budget. It made the request, which was granted, but the money was never drawn down. The money was never called upon and that Treasurer's advance was never formally made to the ESA. The money was not required.

Industrial relations—WorkChoices

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is directed to the Deputy Chief Minister in her capacity as Minister for Women. Could you inform the Assembly of research the government has recently undertaken into the needs of vulnerable women workers in our community?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Gentleman for his question. I recently released a new report which investigated the impact of national legislation on vulnerable women workers. It has been conducted across the country. The ACT government has commissioned specific research here for the ACT, which shows again the impact on women being the same across the country. The WorkChoices regime is affecting particularly lowly paid women, who are suffering by having to do more work in a climate that offers less choice.

We commissioned the report. It was undertaken by Professor Bradon Ellem of the faculty of economics and business at the University of Sydney, who interviewed 14 women in low paid jobs who had experienced changes to their work as a result of changes to national labour law.

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