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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 25 October 2018) . . Page.. 4265 ..


I think what the Liberal Party are actually trying to do with this suggestion, which they do not bring up in relation to other advisory board processes, is continue a favourite implication that members of unions are criminals. There is a pretty constant effort to attack unions in this fashion, and we do hear it a lot from Mr Wall and Mr Hanson in particular. I do not see any reason why this legislation should specifically talk about potential criminal convictions when other appointment processes do not and, in fact, it is probably discriminatory to do so.

I will speak briefly to the amendments as part of my comments now. We will not be supporting Mr Wall’s amendments, which would delay the commencement date of the legislation by six months. I do not believe that is necessary. I have discussed this matter with the minister and she has assured me that all the necessary processes will be in place by 14 January, including an appointed registrar.

The 1,300 contractors mentioned by the MBA do not all need to be certified at once. They will gradually come through the process as contracts arise. It is also expected that the registrar will determine whether the existing certification of contractors is compliant without any further actions needed. In addition, only tenders open after the start date of 15 January will be subject to the certification process. On that basis, we do not believe there is a need for a six-month delay until the middle of 2019.

I am assured that the government can have everything in place by the early January date and it is reasonable for tenderers to start complying with the new process. I would like to see the new government contracts complying with the best ethical and labour standards as soon as possible. I think that this date provides reasonable time by which to achieve that.

In terms of the government amendments, we do support the minor amendments proposed by Minister Stephen-Smith. These are minor and sensible changes. One of them clarifies who the certification obligations apply to by clearing up that they do not apply to certain professions that are technically engaged in the construction sector—for example, an architect. They also make some other minor clarifying amendments related to the Legislation Act and the definition of procurement and procurement process.

To conclude, we support this bill. I have made my observations on the amendments so will not need to speak again later. We look forward to seeing this new scheme progress.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (11.48): I am pleased to speak in support of the Government Procurement (Secure Local Jobs) Amendment Bill 2018. We often talk about how we can best ensure that our workers are working for employers who take their ethical and labour relations obligations seriously. Through this bill, our government will be able to influence the ethical and labour relations standards of those businesses with whom the territory choses to spend taxpayers’ money for procuring services or works.

As clause 22G of the bill states, the new requirements will apply to the whole procurement process. Specifically, they apply to the pre-contract phases of


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