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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 25 August 2005 2005) . . Page.. 3232 ..


So we certainly can support amendment 1, we would be interested in supporting amendment 3, and we certainly support amendment 4.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (12.03): Mr Deputy Speaker, the government’s view is consistent with the view put forward by Mr Berry. The concern that government members have in considering Dr Foskey’s amendments predominantly relates to this: at what point does a code of conduct for members become a code of conduct for members’ staff? The Labor Party’s view is that there is a very clear framework within which the responsibilities and obligations of staff are set out, that is, through the Public Sector Management Act and through the relevant industrial bargaining arrangement.

Indeed, Labor would argue quite strongly that if we wish to impose conditions or expectations on our staff, which as employers we should in terms of the appropriateness of their conduct and approach to their professional employment, staff themselves should have the opportunity to engage in that discussion and should be part of the negotiations relating to what are their expectations and what are the employer’s expectations of them. So at a basic level of industrial democracy we believe that the more appropriate framework for explicitly setting out the expectations and obligations of staff members is within the relevant employment arrangements that exist, either through the Public Sector Management Act or through the relevant industrial bargaining framework—enterprise bargaining agreements and so on. That is where the detail of these matters should rest.

That said, there are a number of amendments that the government supports. Clearly, the addition of the word “contractors” in amendment 1 is a sensible change and one that is certainly acceptable, as is amendment 4, which deals with conduct towards Assembly staff. Conduct towards Assembly staff is something which is worth emphasising because it is again about the obligation of members in engaging with staff in this place and, I guess, formalising what has always been a very important convention in this place that the staff of the Assembly are extended courtesy and respect for the services that they offer to us as members.

In relation to amendments 2 and 3, the government has the same concerns as those that have been outlined by Mr Berry.

Ordered that the amendments be divided.

Amendment No 1 agreed to.

Amendment No 2 negatived.

Amendment No 3 negatived.

Amendment No 4 agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.


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