Page 149 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022
real difference to the lives of workers in this city by ensuring that those businesses contracted by the territory comply with the highest workplace standards. Our government is committed to improving the lives of workers in this city, and these amendments will help us achieve that goal.
MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (11.29): I take a leaf out of Mr Pettersson’s book to talk to this bill. The Greens will support the Government Procurement Amendment Bill 2021 with the included government amendments. The Greens support the secure local jobs code, which uses the ACT government’s purchasing power to support secure, local jobs in the Canberra region, protecting and promoting local jobs and the rights of Canberrans at work.
This bill will strengthen the operationalisation of the code so as to continue to drive safe and secure jobs for Canberrans, encouraging suppliers to meet the highest standards relating to pay, employment conditions, superannuation, the health and safety of their workers and the payment of tax, in line with both the code obligations and workplace laws. I note the issues raised in the legislative scrutiny report No 11 in relation to this bill and I am satisfied that the Special Minister of State has been able to address these in his response.
It is important that we use our significant buying power to look to protect workers in the ACT and ensure good safety and good project outcomes. Government contracts should be awarded only to businesses that meet the highest ethical and labour standards. So, in summary, the Greens will be supporting this code.
MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (11.31): I rise to discuss the Government Procurement Amendment Bill 2021. I thank the Special Minister of State for bringing forward this bill and affirming the importance of the highest ethical and labour standards within ACT government procurement. The amendments in this bill will ensure that the Secure Local Jobs Code Registrar will have the power to enter the premises of a code-certified entity performing territory-funded work to inspect, examine, ask questions or gather information about their compliance with the secure local jobs code.
A law that cannot be enforced has very little value in the real world, and these amendments will help in enforcing the secure local jobs code. The ACT government should be a model employer, and it is important for the government to show leadership in the procurement space. In addition to what is included in this bill, the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement for the Tenth Assembly includes an agreed executive reform to “implement a whole of government policy that government services will not be contracted out where they could be performed by public servants”. This agreed commitment is important to retain and protect the expertise of the ACT public service. It is our view that a strong public service is important in the design and delivery of good outcomes for people in the ACT. In-sourcing is one way to ensure the strength of our public service and the health and wellbeing of our workers in the ACT.