Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . .
MS LAWDER: Minister, how will you stop kangaroos from New South Wales coming into the ACT and taking the place of those that have been injected with the contraceptive?
MR CORBELL: I am disappointed by the rather flippant tone of that question, but I will, nevertheless, answer it. The point I would make is that the trial sites will be chosen on the basis of being geographically confined locations that enable the trial to be conducted in a scientifically valid way. Our ecologists are working very hard on this issue. The ACT is considered a leader in ecological research on the impact of the native kangaroo population on endangered grassy woodland ecosystems. Our scientists are considered some of the best in the country on the matter, and the research that they do is watched closely by their colleagues nationally. So I do not think we should be flippant about it; we should recognise the very serious and dedicated work of our ecologists and recognise that this process is a robust one where all the issues being raised by those opposite are being fully and properly taken into account. If they have a genuine interest, I would be very happy to arrange for the relevant officials to brief them on all the matters that they raise.
MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, in reference to an article in the Canberra Times on 26 April 2015 where you are quoted on the offer of a 12 per cent increase to ACT teachers—a three per cent increase per year over four years—can you advise how the current EBA negotiations are progressing, specifically in relation to ACT teachers receiving back pay from the end date of the last EBA to the acceptance date of the new EBA and the impact that your withdrawal of back pay would have on the offer of a three per cent increase per year over four years?
MS BURCH: I thank Mr Doszpot for his question. Let me make one point of clarification first up. I have not withdrawn back pay. Back pay was part of the first offer. The first offer was not accepted by the first of November; therefore, back pay was not included. Back pay has not been withdrawn. It was, by default, taken off the table when the AEU chose not to accept the first offer.
These negotiations happen around the bargaining table. The chief negotiator was aware that the back pay offer was not included in the existing offer. I met with Glenn Fowler early in April. In a number of items that were being discussed was the EBA. I reminded him that back pay was not included. I also said to him that, if he chose to activate that, I was supportive of it and that I would need to write to the Chief Minister because it needed to be approved, because the first offer of back pay was a cabinet decision. By default it was taken off the table when the first offer was not accepted. Glenn Fowler chooses to forget the detail that he knew back pay was not on offer.
Opposition members interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members!
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