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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3537..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

procedures will be repealed if the trial is found to be successful. I thank members for their support and commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Long Service Leave Legislation Amendment Bill 2008

Debate resumed from 26 June 2008, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (9.22): The opposition will be supporting this bill. I have been attempting to get some guidance and assistance from some of the main players in town. Despite emails and phone calls they have not responded, which suggests that perhaps this bill is somewhat non-contentious and is accepted by the industry.

I think there are some sensible aspects to it. Seven-year lumps rather than five-year lumps seems to be eminently sensible, and I think that is a step in the right direction. Needless to say, there are a couple of issues there which potentially cause me a bit of concern, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt in view of the fact that no-one has actually come beating on my door with great concerns about it. Accordingly, we will monitor how it goes. The opposition will be supporting this piece of legislation.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (9.24): Portable long service leave serves a number of purposes. For people in the cleaning industry the shifting nature of cleaning contracts means that workers often find themselves working within the industry for a number of employers. Construction work is very much contract based. Maintaining seven or 10 years employment with the one construction company or even at the one location is unlikely for most workers so a decision has been made that workers in those industries are disadvantaged in their employment compared with those in more sustained employment situations. Indeed, more and more people are in this situation of short-term employment in contract situations.

Long service leave has come to be accepted as an entitlement and this bill extends that entitlement to a broader range of employees. Some of the amendments in the bill are designed to assist in the operation of these two portable schemes and bring some minor references up to date.

I do not think we can let these small adjustments to existing long service leave schemes go through without referring to the community sector and the somewhat different purpose of a portable long service leave scheme for that industry if it were ever to be introduced, as the government has over many years suggested was about to happen.


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