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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 August 2019) . . Page.. 2639 ..


community service.” We here in Canberra are lucky to such men and women as neighbours.

I also wish to take this opportunity to congratulate Kanti, who is the source of the legend I shared a few moments ago. He too was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, though this honour came to him last year. Kanti has aggressively sought education throughout his lifetime, studying in Fiji, New Zealand, the UK and Australia. But his contributions go far beyond his career. For 10 years now he has served as the vice-chairman of the Hindu Council of Australia and he co-founded Canberra’s Hindu Temple & Cultural Centre. Other endeavours of his range from a neurosurgical project in Fiji to working here at home to improve aged care services for culturally and linguistically diverse Australians.

Like Krishna, Kanti is gentle man who would shy away from receiving such attention. But I feel it is important to acknowledge publicly the achievements of both of these men. They and their families are representative of so many in our multicultural community who bring their intelligence, wisdom, passion and generosity to help to make Canberra a sweeter place to live for all of us.

Employment—wages

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (4.00): I rise today saddened and upset but, unfortunately, not shocked. Wage theft in this country, and in this city, is not improving. It is a sad state of affairs.

This week, I had the utmost pleasure of meeting an extremely brave and passionate woman, Siobhan. Siobhan, like most other young people, went out into the world looking for her dream first job working with horses, something she had always wanted to do. She had been riding since she was 10 years old. Siobhan started in her job excited, ambitious and thrilled to be doing a job that she loved to do. It was soon very obvious to poor Siobhan that the wages that she was expecting to receive were nowhere near what she did receive.

Siobhan is very lucky. Siobhan has loving parents. I know Michelle, her mother, very well. They insisted that Siobhan be a member of her union. Thankfully, her union, United Voice, were keen to assist in any way possible. Today I stand here to say “Well done” to both Siobhan and United Voice. Siobhan was not afraid to say to her employer, “You are not paying me my award wages. You are not paying me my superannuation.” And unfortunately, being injured in the workplace, Siobhan was not covered by workers compensation.

I am highlighting Siobhan’s case because I spoke to her on Tuesday and again last night. It was clear that Siobhan is an exceptional young woman and a woman that we should all be taking our hats off to. Unfortunately, there are many other young workers—across Australia and right here in Canberra—whose employers are not taking care of them, are not looking after them and are definitely not paying them what they are worth.


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