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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2879..


MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

This Government is different. This Government will take a rational approach to industrial relations. This Government will sit down and negotiate a proper enterprise bargaining agreement with the Trades and Labour Council. We will ensure that the interests of the people of the ACT and the integrity of the budget which was passed by this Assembly are also protected at the same time. No, the Minister was not sidelined; the Government was not sidelined. I know that it hurts the members opposite to have to listen to this, but commonsense and flexibility will always get the job done.

MR BERRY: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Noting the local Liberals' policy of confrontation with the unions and the lockout threats, which quite clearly demonstrate the Liberals' philosophy on industrial relations in the ACT, and considering John Howard's policy - - -

Mr Kaine: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I am pretty familiar with the Liberal Party policy; I have read it. It does not mention lockouts anywhere.

MR BERRY: And considering John Howard's intention to not reveal his industrial relations policy, will you now deny that you received anxious calls from your Federal colleagues, who were concerned that your action would reveal that policy and threaten their electoral chances in the next election? Come on; deny that.

MR DE DOMENICO: Yes, I deny that I received frantic telephone calls from my Federal colleagues. I will tell you whom we did receive frantic telephone calls from. The frantic telephone calls that Mrs Carnell and I received over the weekend were from the Trades and Labour Council saying, "Would you please meet with us?". Can I also say that it was the first time that Mrs Carnell and I got a formal request from the Trades and Labour Council to sit down eyeball to eyeball with them. We have had requests from Mr Berry and from others - from all sorts of rent-a-crowd people that come in from time to time - but never from the Trades and Labour Council to talk to the Trades and Labour Council. As soon as the Trades and Labour Council asked Mrs Carnell and me to meet with them, we did.

Once again, so that Mr Berry understands: No, I did not receive any frantic or non-frantic telephone calls, or even pleasant ones, from my Federal colleagues. Had I received any calls from my Federal colleagues, I would have told them to mind their own business, because industrial relations in the Territory is in good hands.

Sport and Recreation

MR HIRD: Just like Premier Goss did to the Prime Minister! My question is directed to Mr Stefaniak in his capacity as Minister for Sport and Recreation. How does the Government intend to foster the development of sport and recreation in the Territory to maximise the benefits to the Territory community in terms of its overall health and wellbeing? I know that those opposite would be very interested in that.

MR STEFANIAK: Hopefully, as the Opposition has realised, sport and recreation activities are an integral part of our business and community life.


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