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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 June 2011) . . Page.. 2329 ..


At the end of the day, on this issue we have a petition that has highlighted that there is an administrative issue. I am sure the minister can oversee a good resolution here. On the other side, though, we need to understand that all workers do have obligations in the workforce, whether it is on occupational health and safety and reporting those matters to ensure that everyone is safe in the workplace, through to filling out some forms.

As I said, in the workplaces that I have managed over the years and that I have been part of, putting in a fortnightly timesheet is a pretty standard thing in most, if not all, workplaces in every city, every town and every neighbourhood. Unfortunately, there is red tape and there are forms to fill out. But we need to ensure that accountability. It is also about protection of workers’ rights, so that you can have a clear record of when you have taken leave and when you have not taken leave and so that there is no dispute at the end of the day about what your leave entitlement is. I move the amendment that has been circulated in my name:

Omit subparagraph (1)(b).

This is an amendment to Mr Barr’s amendment. It takes out (1)(b), which is the part of Mr Barr’s amendment that talks about the audit and the 1,600 staff that have been involved—the findings of that audit process. It removes that from that part of Mr Barr’s amendment. I believe that has been agreed to. I mentioned it in my speech; I think Mr Barr mentioned it in his speech. I hope that I get support for it.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (6.18): I thank Ms Hunter for perhaps a more balanced assessment of this situation.

I am prepared, and the government is prepared, to accept her two amendments. Obviously, I have raised the issue of the evidence before me as minister in relation to the internal audit committee and the work that that committee has undertaken in my directorate. That is the evidence I have before me.

I will make two very quick observations. The first is that, in the midst of an EBA process, these sorts of issues will seek to be ventilated at the highest levels, and I am not surprised by this. It is fairly standard practice in transacting enterprise bargaining agreements. There is a line from The West Wing that might apply here. There are some things where you do not want to see how they are made: laws, sausages and enterprise bargaining agreements. I suspect there would be three things that you would put on that list. But it comes as no surprise that these issues have been raised at this time and in this way.

Again, if Mr Doszpot ever had the benefit of experience in a ministerial role with some responsibility and some accountability in terms of taxpayers’ money, he may be more forgiving of the position that I have adopted in this instance. But no; instead he decided to spend most of his time in this debate focusing on my character. That is all well and good; good luck to him. But the issue of substance ultimately is about


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