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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2926..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

Essentially, the problem we have with it and that we are working through with the union at the moment is that what the union is after is enforcing a closed shop amongst cleaning contractors in our schools. Politically, I don't have a problem with that. In fact, I have no problem with closed shops. Nearly every workplace I've worked in has been a closed shop. That's not a problem.

But whether the government can legally require someone vying for government business to sign up to this is another matter. You might call it dragging our feet; we actually call it good public policy.

Mrs Burke: You've got good, strong unions working for you.

MS GALLAGHER: Sorry? I won't respond. What we're trying to do is clean up the mess that your party when in government left us in terms of outsourcing contracts without any look at what was going on. Now we're saying, "Yes, we do need a pre-qualification system; we do need to say to people wanting to work for the government, 'You have to agree to certain things'."They include: pay award wages, pay your super, pay your workers comp, pay your long service leave.

We are putting in place checks against this because you guys didn't; you didn't care. You just went, "Here's the money; go and do it, for the lowest possible price."That's the problem that we're addressing now. We're happy to do that. We are working with the union. We are working with the union to get it through.

I'm pleased to see that you are now supporting closed shop arrangements, Mr Pratt, against your federal Liberal's own workplace relations policy. This is a leftie radical. We've got that seat left in Caucus for you. "Mr S Pratt, welcome."

Sportsgrounds-watering

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr Wood. Minister, on WIN news on 11 August this year, Mr Stanhope said in relation to the proposed 40 per cent reduction in the watering of ovals, "we'll do what we can to make sure our major venues are playable". The Canberra Times of the next day ran a list of 23 sportsgrounds across the ACT that will be sacrificed as a result of the proposed reduction.

Minister, many sporting organisations are fearful that they will have to cancel junior sporting competitions because many of the ovals will be unplayable. Will you guarantee that all junior competitions will be able to go ahead and that there will be sufficient playable sportsgrounds for our kids to play on?

Mr Stanhope: Do you want them to have water to their houses, Bill?

MR SPEAKER: Please, Chief Minister. Mr Wood has been asked to answer a question.

MR WOOD: Mr Stefaniak asked me if I can guarantee that we are going to have very good, well-watered ovals into the summer period. No, I cannot guarantee that. We do


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