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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2878..


MR OSBORNE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Minister, would you explain how the tender process for the management of Birrigai is going to be evaluated? What safeguards are going to be put in place to prevent the proposed new managers from increasing the fees even further?

MR STEFANIAK: I take it that your supplementary question is in relation to the tender. The provision that has been put in place in relation to the education programs includes fees for - if I recall it - two, three and five nights' accommodation for students. Set fees are there. They were detailed in the tender. If there is a successful person or body for the tender, those fees have to be honoured.

Government Service - Enterprise Bargaining

MR BERRY: My question, which is directed to the Minister for Industrial Relations, is in relation to the recent debacle on industrial relations in the ACT and, in particular, in relation to Mr De Domenico's disappearing act in the latter stages of the dispute. Would you tell us why you were sidelined, or sat in the back seat, during the negotiations to resolve the threat of a Government lockout of its staff? Tell us why you were sidelined; why you sat in the back seat; why you were pushed aside when it was clearly shown that you were out of control.

MR DE DOMENICO: I welcome the question from the future, hopefully, Leader of the Opposition, Mr Berry, who would be the longest serving Leader of the Opposition this world has seen, I have to say. Contrary to Mr Berry's outmoded, out of touch, irrelevant comments about this issue - and he needs to go no further than to the Trades and Labour Council to see what they think of him as well - I was not set aside, sidelined or whatever. Mrs Carnell and I have said from the outset that we will intervene when and if it is required. For Mr Berry's edification, the Government has been involved in negotiations with the Trades and Labour Council since 22 August.

Ms Follett: It has been going well, has it not, especially when you threatened to lock them out?

MR DE DOMENICO: Ms Follett interjects. Yes, the Government is going well. I will read to you the statement of Mr Pyner, if you like. He said that he thought that the discussions with the Government yesterday were a small but significant breakthrough.

The other thing that needs to be said is about the former Government, this lot opposite over there. Do you know how long it took them to negotiate their enterprise agreement? It took 18 months to negotiate their agreement. The hide of the man to come in here and say that I or anybody else was sidelined! They left you in droves, mate; they would not even look at you because they knew that, whatever they wanted, you gave them.


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