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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2021) . . Page.. 353 ..


anything, we should be strengthening the code and its enforcement. Unlike the Canberra Liberals, we will always stand up for workers, and I will always stand up for workers. I am proud of the Secure Local Jobs Code and urge the Assembly to reject this attack on hardworking Canberrans.

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (10.32): The Secure Local Jobs Code was put in place to support the awarding of territory-funded work to businesses that meet the highest ethical and labour standards across their business. The Greens supported this bill when it was first put forward, and we support it for the same reasons now. The Greens believe that everyone has a right to meaningful, secure, paid employment. We affirm that workplaces must be inclusive and free from discrimination and harassment, and we maintain that job insecurity, unemployment and underemployment further entrench inequality in our society.

The Secure Local Jobs Code has been put in place to ensure better outcomes for workers in businesses and organisations that tender for territory-funded work by using the government’s purchasing power to uphold workplace standards and create a level playing field.

We know that overwhelming evidence shows that insecure work is a social determinant of poor mental and physical health. We have seen this play out with tragic effects both nationally and internationally in the COVID pandemic. We know that insecure work is a problem for renters, as fluctuating incomes make financial management difficult. We know that similar industry-based codes, for example in the cleaning sector, have resulted in drastic improvements to worker and community safety.

The Greens have been vocal in their support for the right to be a member of a union and/or collectively bargain, collectively withhold labour, and collectively organise in the workplace. We believe that those rights are essential to achieving a sustainable and democratic future. It is for these reasons—protecting workers’ rights, health and safety—that the Greens will not support this motion today.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (10.33), in reply: It is disappointing that it seems that the minister and the member for Yerrabi have predicted what I was going to be speaking about because they have addressed nothing of what I actually spoke about—that is, this law is unclear in its application, and potentially inconsistent with commonwealth legislation. I have not made one statement about the merits or otherwise of the code. I have not drawn any references to the unions in terms of their approach to workplace negotiations. My concern is that the community is about to be delivered an instrument that is unclear and likely to lead to costly litigation. That should be a priority of this Assembly.

Irrespective of whether we agree on the policy on this or that, we should all be committed to making sure that the community gets legislation that is clear and does not pose the risk of costly court disputes. I think that the speeches in reply were written way before either member knew what I was actually going to say, and that is pretty disappointing, quite frankly. My concern, as the minister was alerted to last


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