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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 1857..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

it is not appropriate. That length of time was not appropriate. No support was given to people who did not have expertise in putting forward a tender. However, they may be the perfect people to take on the service because of their credentials in youth work. I point that out again.

Mrs Carnell: Are you suggesting that Richmond Fellowship is not?

MS TUCKER: No; I am suggesting that there should be a fair tendering process with support offered to all interested parties. I thought I had made that clear, but I hope that I have now. There has not been an examination of the costs of this change, and that is what we are asking for in this committee. Mrs Carnell was not here when I was speaking before. One of the things I heard her say repeatedly in the election campaign - and it impressed me - was how she supported the use of the committee system in this Assembly. I am very disappointed that she does not actually put that into practice. She did not do it for ACTEW and apparently she is not supporting it for the other public sector changes that are occurring. This is about open and accountable government.

Mr Humphries talked about the budget implications of motions that are on the notice paper. I guess that so-called fiscal responsibility is the focus of many of those motions. There are people in this place and many people in the community who feel that real people are going to suffer as a result of so-called fiscal responsibility. Mr Humphries also referred to the Estimates Committee. At that committee we continually asked questions about the lack of qualitative indicators that would allow the effects of policy to be evaluated. This motion is an attempt to have the committee look at the costs and benefits, not just the budget implications. The point about the budget implications is that, if there had been greater consultation before the budget, maybe these things would not be coming up on the notice paper.

Mr Moore made a point about emotional blackmail. I resent very much the sort of argument he used. Of course we all care very much about how these young people are being affected by this debacle, but I stress again that the Government must take responsibility for this mess. It is no good saying that these kids are suffering. I tried to apply some emotional blackmail to Mr Moore this morning but it was not successful. If you want to look at the long-term effects of contracting out services, you must examine all the costs and benefits. The conditions and the morale of people working to provide these services have implications for how the services are delivered over the long run.

Mr Humphries was concerned that I was trying to have the committee look at the whole issue of the widening gap between the rich and the poor. That would not be an appropriate thing to do. I never suggested it. I was using that only as an argument against the considerable concerns that we feel, and the community feels, about the $26,000. Mr Stefaniak, I said in my speech that, as it stands now, this $26,000 baseline can be supplemented by overtime by workers in the Kaleen shelter. They have the ability to earn more than $26,000. I accept Mr Humphries's idea that we should be debating and discussing the issue of the gap between rich and poor in salaries. I will table an article in today's Australian that looks at that issue. Maybe it is something the Social Policy Committee could look at, although I have a feeling that it needs very broad debate within


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