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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 25 October 2018) . . Page.. 4273 ..


My last comments are to all those workers who have given evidence, signed petitions and campaigned so hard to make sure that a secure local jobs code is brought to fruition. I thank them for their ongoing support and work in this area. Congratulations to everyone who has been part of making this law. I look forward to seeing it implemented.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Advanced Technology and Space Industries) (12.16): I do want to rise to thank Ms Rachel Stephen-Smith for the work that she has done on this code. It is very important work for the future of Canberrans in the workplace to provide security, to provide safety for workers across the ACT as we look at procuring jobs across the territory. I want to thank all those who have put their efforts into making comments on the bill, and I also want to acknowledge our workers and their representatives in the gallery today. It is great to see you here today.

I am a very proud unionist. I joined my first union in 1973. I have been a continuous unionist since then. The influence came from my father and his union. He was a PMG technician. His union was the APTU. My first, I think, experience with them was as a young boy at Christmas time. We were not a very wealthy family. We could not afford a lot. The union would put on a Christmas party at Casuarina Sands here in the ACT. Young children who normally could not afford to attend events such as this were provided with food, drink and ice creams all day, and we had a great deal of fun during the time, and at the end of the day we were provided with gifts, gifts that our parents could probably never afford. I still have one. It is a Tasco microscope. I still have it in the box. I will never forget that gift that my parents could probably never have afforded that day, and that was my first, I think, influence of how the union movement helps each other in times of good and bad.

So I am very pleased to see that we are looking after workers across the territory with this code, and I congratulate all those that have been involved in ensuring that it comes through.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Disability, Minister for Children, Youth and Families, Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Minister for Government Services and Procurement, Minister for Urban Renewal) (12.18), in reply: Mr Wall started his contribution by noting that there are two types of businesses, and I could equally do the same. Yes, there are those businesses that uphold workers’ rights, who pay their workers fairly and secure their entitlements and ensure high standards of workplace health and safety. And there are those who do not. We want to ensure that the ACT government is only contracting with businesses in the first category. That is what this bill is all about.

I should also respond briefly to Mr Wall and Mr Hanson, maybe by reiterating what Mr Rattenbury said. They have said that they will keep saying that this bill will legislate the MOU and the union right of veto. But, as Mr Rattenbury said, just


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