Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1551 ..
When it comes to how the ACT government spends taxpayer money, it should send a strong message—that is, the ACT government has high standards. Group training organisations and entities which take on large numbers of apprentices in their employ should meet mandatory health and safety requirements if they want government funding. And government procurement should have high standards and principles that make a community better, not simply a race to the bottom.
We cannot fix everything from this Assembly. We live in an increasingly globalised market economy with a largely centralised industrial relations system. But what we can do, we should. The ACT Legislative Assembly has many powers. I have just outlined numerous recommendations that this place can enact. Let us make Canberra an even better place to live and to work.
MR WALL (Brindabella) (11.54): I will speak to the dissenting comments provided by me and Mrs Kikkert in response to the education, employment and youth affairs committee's inquiry into the extent, nature and consequence of insecure work in the ACT. Mrs Kikkert and I have made a number of recommendations in our comments which differ vastly from the chair's draft that was proposed to the committee and have formed the alternative comments to those of the Labor members of the committee.
We note that this inquiry had a large focus and a drive by the union movement. Much of the evidence was skewed from the start. Most of the submissions were generated via the UnionsACT web tool. We know that similar inquiries have been held in other parliaments around the country as part of a broader campaign by the trade union movement.
First and foremost, it is our view that the territory should not venture into a legislative or regulatory area that is completely out of our remit. Our recommendations reflect this view. In 2010 the ACT, along with all other Australian jurisdictions with the exception of Western Australia, referred workplace relations powers to the commonwealth through the introduction of the Fair Work Act. The intention was to create a simpler and more uniform workplace and industrial relations system across the country.
Deviating from this structure will undoubtedly add significant cost and complexity, particularly given that the ACT is an island that lies within New South Wales, seeing many businesses work across both sides of the border. Any moves to create industrial relations frameworks within the ACT that are vastly different from those across the border will seek to drive competition and investment away from the territory.
The opposition flags that there are a number of discussions at this point around changes to the industrial relations framework that exists within the ACT, most notably the consultation paper put forward by Minister Stephen-Smith around the secure jobs code.
The opposition urges that any changes that the government may propose to make in terms of this committee inquiry or that discussion paper are considered strongly, and that the regulatory burden that might happen as a result of those changes, particularly