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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 2622..


MS FOLLETT (continuing):

The Government response reckons this is not true, but it is in the explanatory memorandum. It goes on:

As Executive contracts will be for periods of five years or less, it is undesirable that persons entering those contracts retain large leave credits.

In other words, not only are they deemed to have resigned, but they do have their credits cashed out, just as the majority report of the committee says. I take grave exception to the Government trying to pull the wool over the Assembly's eyes by saying that we are on the wrong track there. We are not. Mr Speaker, not only has that been confirmed by the Government's own officers at the briefing session; it also is in their explanatory memorandum. I suggest that they read their own documents a little more clearly.

Mr Speaker, Mrs Carnell's response asserts that the committee has given no rationale for our rejection of the general SES contract proposal. I would suggest that she go back and actually read the majority report, because the rationale, I believe, is quite clear. In the first place, we consider that it will lead to the politicisation of the public service. I do not want to see this service run by a lot of Liberal Party stooges, and I do not believe it is in the community's interests that that occur either.

The committee saw not one scintilla of evidence that the proposed change to SES employment arrangements would advantage in any way the Canberra community that we serve. Quite the contrary. The whole thrust of the Government's arguments is to pretend that we do not live in Canberra; that we are not the national capital; that we do not have a Commonwealth Public Service side by side with our own. This is just a pipedream. I find that approach, Mr Speaker, utterly reprehensible. It is quite obvious to me that public sector employment in the ACT will always see the two services running side by side. It was my intention that those services should be, in the Prime Minister's words, as porous as possible. I believe that the Commonwealth Public Service in the past has led in public sector reform, and it is absolutely ridiculous for the ACT to ignore all of that history, to pretend that that talent does not exist, and to pretend that their tasks are diametrically opposed when they are not. Mr Speaker, I am extremely disappointed in the Government's response, and I stand by the majority report of the committee.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The member's time has expired.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


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