Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 1 Hansard (16 February) . . Page.. 332..
MR SPEAKER: Thank you for your feedback, Mr Hanson. Minister, you have the floor.
MS BURCH: I have finished my answer, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary question.
MS PORTER: Minister, regarding the funding of these increases, what will be the impact on the ACT government budget?
MS BURCH: Such a decision could have a serious impact on the ability of the community sector to maintain the high quality service that it delivers. That is why the government decided from the outset to fully fund its share of the wage increases. It is worth noting the eight-year phase-in period for the decision—this will allow the government and the sector to work through the transition. It is also worth noting that the pay increase relates only to the award. What this means for ACT workers in the sector covered by the award will differ for each employee, as we know that many employers in the sector are already paying above the award. Nevertheless, in the next eight years, as these changes are phased in, for many workers the decision means that they will be paid more for the work they do.
Before last month's decision we estimated a potential financial impact on the budget of about $27 million over six years but, based on the extended time frame, we expect that to be less. We are now working to revise and update our original estimates, given that the decision changed some of the parameters on which the original estimates were made. As stated in the Treasurer's recent midyear review, the costs are currently being calculated for incorporation in the 2012-13 budget. Clearly then the decision will have a budget impact, but this is one that this government will not shy away from.
MS HUNTER: Supplementary.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.
MS HUNTER: Minister, can you give us more information, in relation to your answer to the first question, about this shared models approach or cost cutting of red tape and so forth that community organisations will have to be looking at?
MS BURCH: It is a component of this, a $27 million—or thereabouts once we finetune the eight-year transition—investment in the community sector. We have been working with the community sector over a number of years, through governance support, through industrial support and advice. We have been working through Jobs Australia here in the ACT. For the fund we will pull in a steering group. People from the sector, leaders from the sector, will certainly be part of a steering group that will look to how this transition is implemented. The sector have come to us and said to us that there are efficiencies to be made, that there are practices to be improved through shared services, economies of scale and purchasing—a range of things. It is not a definite list, and certainly the steering group and the government will work together to identify their priorities. But we are clearly seeing that this fund, this investment, will