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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 2330..


accountability for taxpayers' money, and I think Ms Hunter was right in making the observations that she did towards the end of her speech. The other point that needs to be raised is that it is a difficult process to manage for the directorate and for the—

Mrs Dunne: That is what they get paid the big bucks for.

MR BARR: Indeed; that is what they get paid for, Mrs Dunne. With respect to the suggestion that every time the Education Union does not like a decision of management they should come to me and I will overturn that decision, I am not prepared to stand in this place and cop emotion from Mr Doszpot, because he immediately backs the union every time, without any regard for the issue or the difficulties associated or the bigger picture. I think that is an important point to make in this context. Every time there is a political intervention in an essentially administrative matter, it goes to undermine the capacity of the people whom we trust and pay more than what we all get paid to manage these issues. It undermines their capacity to run an education system.

I have a very dim view of a failure of an industrial advocate to be able to negotiate with the management—in this instance with the administrative unit responsible for human resources within the education directorate. To give the impression that every time there is a failure at a particular point to reach agreement on an outcome the minister will intervene and resolve the matter for the union, I do not think that is good practice, and I have indicated that to the AEU.

My preference is to see these issues discussed and that it not be the first point of call to think that the minister will fix everything. There is too much of this sort of behaviour and I think it is rewarded by this sort of debate in the chamber this afternoon. If this is the path Mr Doszpot chooses to go down, that is fine; that is his business. But I will not be deterred from my view that this matter should appropriately be resolved between the education directorate and the Australian Education Union in accordance with the enterprise bargaining arrangements and the EBA that is currently in place and, of course, the one that is currently being negotiated. If Mr Doszpot is not smart enough to cotton on to that then I think he should sharpen up.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (6.23): I rise to speak very briefly on just a couple of points that need to be made. I thank Ms Hunter for her comments and I do agree with both amendments. A small comment I would like to make is that the second amendment to my motion, which I will agree with, basically would work if we simply omitted part one of the motion. But I am happy to go the way you have suggested we go and I do accept your amendment.

I would like to make very clear to Mr Barr that the only reason we have had to have this debate in this chamber was his lack of ability to communicate with his constituency. Fifteen hundred teachers have come to me to put the motion that they suggested, that they were not being listened to. And that is the reason, Mr Barr. It is not my choice to do this. This was your choice, to not communicate with the people to ensure that the department and the union were able to reach a fair compromise that would suit both parties.


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