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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 1993) . . Page.. 2516 ..

MS FOLLETT: Madam Speaker, I will take Mr Cornwell's question on notice. I would say to members opposite that it actually is not my budget; it is the budget of the Federal Government. I will give Mr Cornwell a full and considered reply. Not the least of my requirements is that I consult with the Minister responsible, Mr Wood.

Betterment Tax

MR LAMONT: Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning. Can the Minister inform the house of any action taken to date on the question of betterment tax?

MR WOOD: I indicated quite some time ago that the Government believes it necessary to review the application of betterment.

Mr De Domenico: You said it yesterday, too.

MR WOOD: No; I said it on Tuesday night, I think. Prior to that I had been monitoring how things were going. At the time of the review I had not conducted a very public process, I think for the obvious reason that that would stir up activity, particularly in the residential sector, from people who might want to anticipate any change to the way of application. In any event, since the time of my announcement, or from about that time, there has been a quite considerable debate about the matter. I want to indicate that, in order to make quite clear some matters to assist that debate, I will be making a ministerial statement next week. I am doing that so that people talking about the issue understand it quite clearly.

Separate Public Service : Age Discrimination

MR MOORE: My question is to the Chief Minister. It has been mooted by your Government that legislation will soon be introduced to amend the Discrimination Act with reference to age, and also to convert the Commonwealth Public Service to an ACT public service. Can you inform the Assembly of any action your Government is taking to reassure people who are due to retire and who are caught in that interim period? I remind the Chief Minister of an example of one such person that I discussed with her yesterday.

MS FOLLETT: Yes, Madam Speaker, Mr Moore brought a particular officer of the ACT public service to my attention. Nevertheless, Madam Speaker, in my view I think it would be most unwise to pre-empt the passage of legislation, including the two pieces of legislation that Mr Moore has referred to. The process for drafting that legislation is on time. The legislation on the ACT public service, the separate public service, is an extremely large and complex matter. I recently made a submission to the Assembly committee, chaired by Mr De Domenico, on the creation of the separate ACT public service and, subject to the consideration of that committee, I can say that that is proceeding on time.

Madam Speaker, it imposes a great difficulty for Mr Moore to take one particular case of an officer in the public service who is having particular difficulties and try then to imply that the two pieces of legislation that he has referred to would somehow resolve this officer's difficulty. That is entirely hypothetical. I will do my very best for the officer concerned under the current legislation.

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