Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 562 ..
was a motion of platitudes about government fiscal policy. Then we get to the opposite end of the program where we are talking about this motion.
As Ms Le Couteur said, it is only a small number of Canberrans. Yes, it is about 30 to 40 families. But this is not an issue that is having some effect on the margins of their livelihoods, their lives or their wellbeing; this is make or break for them. This issue determines whether or not they can keep a roof over their families’ heads, whether or not they can pay their bills, whether or not they can fulfil the commitments that they have made in every other aspect of their lives by virtue of whether or not they have a job.
Mrs Dunne is right to say that if it was unionised labour there would be action from that mob on the other side. They would stand up, they would grow a backbone and they would actually do something about it. But because they are individuals that are go-getters, that have taken some initiative themselves and have bought themselves a job and are hardworking individuals, there is nothing for them.
They have form in this space. Before Christmas there was an ex gratia payment to cleaners of government schools who missed out on a couple of weeks earnings between the changeover of contracts. The government was willing to hand money over to members of the union who lost out on a couple of weeks work, but when they come in and they absolutely decimate the livelihoods of some families, there is silence. You get this crap from the minister, which is exactly what it is. No individual can take this to the bank and show it as a guarantee.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Wall, unparliamentary language, even in an emotional state, is not accepted here. Please withdraw that word.
MR WALL: It is what it is, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: You have to withdraw the word “crap”, Mr Wall. That is it. Unconditionally withdraw it.
MR WALL: If it is not crap, it is many, many other things. I withdraw. But what value does this bit of rubbish that the minister has put forward as an amendment give in the way of confidence to those families that are affected? Walking in to see their bank manager with this absolute piece of rubbish that the minister has put forward and saying, “I can’t pay my bank loan, but it’s okay because the government’s going to keep me informed on how the green bin rollout goes,” is cold comfort. How does that pay their mortgage? How does that pay their truck loan? How does that pay to get kids into school uniforms? It simply does not. This is one of those few occasions where there is actually a substantive motion here that is make or break for Canberrans and their families.
What we have from the minister is platitudes and: “Go get a job as a truck driver collecting garbage.” That is absolutely galling. “We’re going to come in and we’re going to put you in the hole, in some instances $250,000 or more, by destroying your livelihood, but you can go and get a job collecting garbage.” Or even better: “Go and