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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 October 2018) . . Page.. 4054 ..


MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.39): I want to make it very clear that I am now speaking in my capacity as a member of the committee, as opposed to chair of the committee.

Mr Barr: A modest achievement. Indeed, yes. Well understood. Acknowledged. Yes.

MR HANSON: I do not want those two roles conflated.

Mr Barr: Heaven forbid.

MR HANSON: Heaven forbid. Thank you. Mr Barr understands what I am doing. I would like to thank the other two members of the committee. This is obviously a difficult issue to come before this committee because there are such strongly held views. In many ways, they underlie the principles of why we are in this place, certainly for people like Mr Pettersson, who is a member of the CFMEU. I think that we approached this in a mature way. We acknowledged our different perspectives. What we have done is seek to provide a committee report that reflects the views of the committee, where we agree, as I said, but has annexes where we have put forward our more deeply held views.

It is clear that there is broad agreement, as Ms Orr said, about what we all want to achieve. Recommendation 1 is that we want to ensure that public money only goes to contractors who have the highest ethical and labour standards. We all agree with that. The problem is that the bill that was put before the committee does not achieve that outcome. It does not. That is the point I will go to.

I will go to some of the quotes that are contained in the report. The MBA accepted that directorate staff are working hard to try to implement very bad laws. They went on to say that they believe that their concerns are being ignored as the law is a fait accompli. And, on behalf of their members, they objected to the government trading off a political promise made with one or two unions for a significant cost burden, red tape and economic impact on the many thousands of small and family Canberra businesses.

The Canberra Business Chamber said that the bill was not going to produce the desired procurement objects. They said that to introduce further regulation and administrative requirements for local businesses appears counterproductive and unnecessary and may serve only as a disincentive to our critical economically important SMEs tendering on such work. The MBA referred to concern about how laws would operate in the real world, stating that their members expressed a view that the unions would have a power of veto over government contracts. The Canberra Business Chamber noted that their members had similar concerns.

I go to annex A, where the recommendations which I put forward which were not agreed to by the other members of the committee are contained. I will just go through them to explain where this bill goes wrong. The first point I would make is that I do not believe that, as the recommendation put forward, we should proceed with this legislation. I encourage members not to support this when it is debated on Thursday.


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