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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2311..


Thursday, 23 November 1995

___________________________

MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

REMUNERATION TRIBUNAL BILL 1995

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (10.31): I present the Remuneration Tribunal Bill 1995, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MRS CARNELL: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this Bill provides for the establishment of an ACT Remuneration Tribunal to determine the remuneration of members of this Assembly, ACT statutory office-holders and the public service executive group. The new tribunal will take over these functions from the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal. This is in no way due to any dissatisfaction about the outcomes to date. As I will explain, it reflects the need to put in place appropriate arrangements for the ACT. This is understood and appreciated by the Commonwealth and its tribunal.

The immediate impetus for establishing the ACT Remuneration Tribunal has been the Government's decision to move its public service executives onto contract employment and to have the remuneration under those contracts set by an independent Remuneration Tribunal. The decision to establish an ACT tribunal is, however, a timely and appropriate one for all ACT office-holders. After more than six years of self-government, our model of governance is still evolving. One thing is clear, however. We are putting the special Commonwealth links we once had behind us and doing things in our own way. This is particularly true of the ACT public service. A little over 12 months after the break from the Australian Public Service, or APS, we are negotiating an agency-based enterprise bargaining framework that will be significantly different from the framework adopted in the APS. We are examining what changes are required to the workers compensation arrangements we currently share with the APS and now we are moving to a system of executive contracts that has much more in common with the State public services than with the APS.

Having outlined the genesis and context of the Bill, I should explain its coverage. The ACT Remuneration Tribunal will set the remuneration and allowances for ACT MLAs, senior public office-holders and public service executives. With the exception of the extra payment received by the Chief Justice, this will not include the current judges of


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