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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1553 ..


This is an aspect of the inquiry that needs to be highlighted and that has not been touched on appropriately in the comments from those on the opposite side of the chamber. It is important that the ACT acts as a model purchaser in the recruitment space. Failing to do so not only, as the submission highlights, encourages poor practices but also relegates us to often receiving poorer skilled and poorer equipped talent through agencies to fill roles on behalf of the ratepayers of the ACT than would otherwise or previously have occurred, simply because of the pricing structure that the government is demanding the market adhere to.

It is also worth touching on the importance of casual employment within the ACT jobs market. Tourism and hospitality are a particular focus and often trumpeted by the Chief Minister as an area of the territory that has grown and needs to continue to grow to diversify the ACT economy. Whilst members of his backbench are advocating for a much tighter use of casualised employment, there is a severe inconsistency between wanting a permanent workforce and the way the hospitality and tourism industries operate. The workforces are largely casualised because there are peak periods and there are low periods. There are surge periods when events such as Floriade or Summernats come to town. Tonight is another classic example of one of the busiest nights in Canberra, the night of the federal budget. This time next week the demand will be significantly lower.

Casual employment is required to facilitate and meet the needs of that industry as it grows in the territory. Moves to restrict the use of casual employment in our economy will have far-reaching and wide-reaching ramifications that I do not think those opposite are game to own or to confess to, let alone recognise the impact on the community more broadly.

Once again I reiterate that the issues raised by the inquiry are national issues more broadly, and are well and truly covered off in national legislation. There is little evidence to suggest that the ACT needs to adopt a go-it-alone approach. To that end, I commend the comments by me and Mrs Kikkert, attached as part of the report and additional comments.

Finally, I would like to place on the record my thanks to those who tendered submissions to the inquiry, particularly the witnesses that appeared before us. I also give a special mention of thanks to the secretary, Nicola Kosseck, for all of her efforts through the continuing inquiry.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Office for mental health—proposed model and functions

Ministerial statement

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (12.03): I rise to make a ministerial statement in response to the resolution of the Assembly on 14 February 2018 and, in doing so, to provide an update to the Assembly on the office for mental health and wellbeing and other


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