Page 1112 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022

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have a decent wage and they are protected when they are sick and unable to work. IĀ congratulate Mr Pettersson on bringing this motion to the Assembly.

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (3.32): I would like to start by thanking all members for their contributions. It was, without doubt, an entirely positive debate in this place. It is reassuring for all residents of this city that no member came in here and attacked casual workers, or called them greedy or entitled for potentially wanting something a little bit better. Instead this was a positive discussion and debate, and for that I am very pleased, and proud of this Assembly.

Mr Cain spoke about the amendment which he has circulated. I am comfortable with it; I think it is fine. I spend far too much of my time in this place sitting in committee meetings and conducting inquiries, but I do know the benefit of them. They are a good way to bring a community along with this place on a policy journey.

I genuinely look forward to the committee process. I have no doubt that the response will be overwhelmingly positive and that the submissions received will help to shape a scheme that suits Canberra. Whilst the Victorian government have announced their trial and outlined the provisions that they think work for Victoria, what the ACT needs will probably be different. In many ways we are similar, but we are not the same as Victoria.

Ms Castley in her remarks made a few cutting observations, and I will cop them on the chin. There was a minor slight to other stakeholders, and for that I do apologise. However, what I will not go past is the one-sided nature of the attack. Comrade Cain in his amendment is similarly focused on the workers. I do not want to out you to your colleagues, Mr Cain, but I feel that you could have really added some spice to your paragraph (3). There is always next time.

In doing some research for this motion, I looked at the history of sick pay in this country. Perchance, it was 100 years ago that the industrial awards of this country included sick pay for the first timeā€”100 years ago. It is a long time. I am not even close to 100 years old, so the idea of getting the whole way to 100 seems like, quite literally, a lifetime away. It is quite remarkable, and it led me to reflect on how we got here. One hundred years ago, the trade union movement won its campaign to get sick pay included into the industrial awards of this country. Yet here we are today having a conversation about how workers do not have access to sick pay. Something has gone wrong along the way. I am somewhat hopeful and optimistic that this country, through its industrial laws, will find its way, and working people will rightfully expect to have these working conditions that have been hard fought for over such a long time.

In closing, I would like to thank all members once again for their contributions. I look forward to the committee inquiry.

Amendment agreed to.

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

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