Page 793 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 6 April 2022
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.30): It has only been a short tenure for the Leader of the Opposition, but she is already copying the playbook of her predecessors.
Opposition members interjecting—
MR GENTLEMAN: Devoid of substance and ideas, they are in here moving a stunt to try and stay relevant. The government will not be supporting it. I will back my Deputy Chief Minister’s record of care and compassion against the Leader of the Opposition or her team any day.
Mr Rattenbury: On a point of order, Mr Acting Speaker.
MR ACTING SPEAKER: Mr Rattenbury.
Mr Rattenbury: I note that obviously Mr Gentleman’s remarks are inflammatory to the Leader of the Opposition. But, equally, Ms Lee gave a speech that many others would find inflammatory and she was heard in silence. Mr Gentleman spoke for about 15 seconds and I could barely hear him over the interjections of members of the opposition.
MR ACTING SPEAKER: I think Mr Rattenbury has got a fair point; Ms Lee was heard in silence. I would call on members to my left to keep their remarks at a low level. Thank you. Mr Gentleman.
MR GENTLEMAN: The Deputy Chief Minister has worked closely with the Chief Minister to keep our community safe. She has worked closely with officials across government to ensure the best outcomes for families, students, teachers, staff and our community as we have spent over two years dealing with an unprecedented health emergency. She has brought her considerable talents to this challenge as well as an understanding that comes from a being parent within the public school system.
The Deputy Chief Minister has brought care and compassion to the ACT government’s COVID-19 response, the same care and compassion I have seen her show throughout her career. The Deputy Chief Minister cares deeply about workers and is committed to keeping the most vulnerable in our community safe. Just look at the reforms that have helped cleaners in our schools, some of the most vulnerable and exploited workers in our community. These workers have better job security because of the Deputy Chief Minister; she has been their champion. She has been instrumental to our government’s secure employment work, to help more workers get better job security, pay and conditions. I have heard from cleaners about how important these reforms are.
I have also spent the pandemic listening to our unions, the voice of our workers. They have clearly told me of the great work the Deputy Chief Minister has done, how she understood and worked hard to protect workers across her portfolio. This was not a