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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1805 ..

The government's secure local jobs package will deliver better, more secure jobs for Canberrans by establishing clear principles to ensure worker safety, fair pay and conditions on public projects and contracts.

Fundamental to this commitment is a recognition that the ACT government can play an important role in delivering better outcomes for young workers, as for all workers, by using its purchasing power to set high standards for workplace safety and workers' rights alongside the delivery of quality goods and services to the people of the ACT.

It is unfortunate that our efforts to protect young workers in the ACT are often undermined by the increasing insecurity of work. While we endeavour to protect the rights of young workers in the ACT, I cannot account for those rights being rewritten by a federal government determined to sell our young workers out. When we have a federal government that is intent on cutting penalty rates, intent on driving the casualisation of the industries that young people work in and intent on cutting the supports for those young people who find themselves out of work, some young workers in the ACT will continue to struggle and to suffer unnecessarily. The ACT government will do what it can to support the safety and health of those young workers.


MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability. Minister, can you update the Assembly on how the national energy guarantee is developing following the COAG Energy Council meeting on Friday, 20 April?

MR RATTENBURY: I thank Ms Orr for the question. The national energy guarantee is progressing. The ministers agreed at that meeting on 20 April for work to continue ahead of the next COAG Energy Council, which will be held in Sydney in August. It would be fair to say that there are some quite mixed views on the progress of this work. We are seeing two very distinct streams of work developing here.

There is the piece led by the Energy Security Board, which is very focused on the technical details of reforming the national energy market. I think that is progressing reasonably well. On the other side we have now seen a commonwealth paper, which is the policy work that goes alongside that. What we are seeing is significant and ongoing intransigence on the part of the commonwealth and a lack of clarity of what their position is. Certainly, from the federal minister, Josh Frydenberg, there is a clear reluctance or lack of willingness to engage in any kind of detailed discussions about what the commonwealth position will be. I think this is problematic. This means there is not a lot of latitude as we go forward.

Certainly, the commonwealth position continues to be highly problematic in terms of the approach they have taken on things like the greenhouse gas reduction targets built into this system, the approach to offsets, and the very significant concerns from the renewable energy industry that the national energy guarantee, as it is currently formed, will stymie the growth of the renewable energy sector over the next decade.

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