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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3185 ..


MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (5.16): I would like to thank all members who have contributed to this debate, some more passionately than others but all passionate. Workers rights and equitable access to long service leave is an important discussion. I am glad to see that many members are as passionate about this topic as I am.

As we all know, the nature of work is changing rapidly. Casualisation and short-term and skilled work is becoming the trend. As legislators, we have a responsibility to keep up with this trend and ensure that we protect and back workers whenever we can. Long service leave is an Australian national treasure and something that I think all workers are entitled to. However, with many workers now having to frequently switch employers, long service leave has become an unreachable reality for so many Australians, especially the most vulnerable in our community.

Today only a small minority of Australians stay with one employer long enough to access long service leave. This highlights the changing nature of our workforce and shows that a huge proportion of our community are unable to access long service leave, and this should not be the case.

I want to pause to address Mr Cain’s amendment. In short, I believe the amendment is redundant because the minister may only make a declaration that is consistent with the objects of the act. The act is the guidelines. I appreciate Mr Cain’s enthusiasm on this issue. However, I do not think his amendment is warranted.

Again I would like to acknowledge the ACT government’s hard work in establishing portable long service leave schemes for a number of industries already. Portable long service leave schemes for construction workers, community sector workers, contract cleaners and security workers have all been incredible success stories. This hard work has ensured that in these industries, in which the workers frequently move between employers, workers still have access to long service leave. That is why we should not stop here.

The ACT government has a proud record of leading the way. I believe a good next step is expanding the scheme to the hospitality industry. I look forward to that investigative work to come and to being part of that conversation.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 8

Noes 15

Mr Cain

Ms Berry

Ms Orr

Ms Castley

Mr Braddock

Dr Paterson

Mr Hanson

Ms Burch

Mr Pettersson

Mrs Jones

Ms Cheyne

Mr Rattenbury

Mrs Kikkert

Ms Clay

Mr Steel

Ms Lawder

Ms Davidson

Ms Stephen-Smith

Mr Milligan

Mr Davis

Ms Vassarotti

Mr Parton

Mr Gentleman


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