Page 839 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 29 March 2023

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thinking about what we need to do to protect our Bud. I have to say that I am not sure anyone in this Assembly has gone quite as far as Minister Davidson, who has in fact got a tattoo of her Bush Bud. I am not sure if other members are prepared to go that far! But it does require us to really be champions for these species.

The other key thing that has become really evident through this discussion is the importance of this work as a partnership between government, the community, researchers and many other groups. It has been really fantastic to be able to highlight this partnership work and some of the specific initiatives. I particularly thank Minister Gentleman for highlighting some of those works. Thank you, everyone, for your contributions in supporting this motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Order of the day—postponement

Ordered that order of the day No 1, executive business, relating to Background Checking Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, be postponed until a later hour.

Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Amendment Bill 2022

Debate resumed from 22 November 2022, on motion by Mr Gentleman:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (11.33): The Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Amendment Bill 2022 is a hit on Canberra’s small businesses—the heart and soul of our local community—when they can least afford it. Largely unsuspecting beauty, electrolysis, make-up, nail care, skin care and tanning services, barbers, hotels and motels, holiday house and flat operations, serviced apartments and youth hostels, cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, pubs, taverns, bars and clubs will all be hit by this new one to two per cent levy on small business payroll.

When interest rates and input costs are rising and economic growth contracting, this will cause job losses and business closures, all while many Canberran small businesses are still recovering from COVID. And, given the transient nature of employment in many of these industries, it is doubtful that many workers will ever see any benefit.

As well as the direct financial cost to these Canberra small businesses, there will be new red tape burden. Businesses will have to register with the ACT Long Service Leave Authority, register each new employee, calculate their quarterly earnings, multiply these by the contribution rate, remit this money to the same authority and then be subject to a stringent inspection and enforcement regime. Ai Group has estimated portable schemes impose four times the cost burden imposed by general long service leave laws in Australia. This bill will add to the jumble of long service leave regimes already faced by national and cross-border employers.

The government has not even established that involuntary labour mobility is a feature of the industries to which they wish to extend portability. As the Canberra Business Chamber has noted:

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