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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 533 ..


I would like to note that there was not that much negative input, which was very lovely to see. But it would be surprising to say there was none, and I was not really surprised. As I have said before, a local jobs code is important for protecting the rights of local workers. As my colleague Mr Rattenbury raised earlier in this debate, the Labor government has been protecting local workers for some time.

The introduction of the portable long service leave scheme is just one initiative which has seen workers from more vulnerable industries protected. Ensuring that a local procurement code forms part of legislation means that workers will continue to be protected. It means there is a level playing field for local businesses to tender for government work.

But, as Ms Steven-Smith raised, the opposition in this town, in step with their friends across the lake, are so consumed by their war on unions that they have forgotten about Canberra workers. As many on this side of the chamber have spoken about today, the right of Canberrans to be paid properly, treated fairly and return home from work safely every day should not need to be argued for. But, with the likes of the federal Liberal government out to attack workers, we here in this place in government must stand up for Canberra workers.

I take a moment to thank Mrs Dunne for her words about ethical workplaces and workers. Procuring services that support ethical workplace relations is very important to us on this side of the chamber, and I see Ms Stephen-Smith nodding in agreement. I also take a moment to refer to what Mrs Dunne said about the Fair Work Ombudsman and the work the Fair Work Ombudsman does in many instances. But there are instances where the Fair Work Ombudsman does not help out local workers. There are some vulnerable workers in our Canberra community that continue to be discriminated against. They are the ones that this local jobs code will help to protect by ensuring that all employers vying for work from government will be protecting the workers that deliver those services.

It is with great pleasure and honour that I stand here as a union representative, as a union member and as a member of ACT Labor to stand up for workers’ rights, and I will continue to bring about debates in this chamber that look after the rights of those workers every single day. I will not stop that. I will not be shamed into believing that being a member of a union is something that should be shameful.

I am a proud union member. I will continue to be a proud union member. I will continue to fight for the rights of workers, whether it be in this place or out in the community. It is something that I will continue to do. I thank the ACT government for helping me do that by introducing this procurement code. I commend my motion, as amended, to the Assembly.

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.


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