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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3713 ..

MR GENTLEMAN: The ACT government is using its significant buying power to support businesses that treat their workers properly, through the secure local jobs code. I talk about the secure local jobs code a lot in this place. That is because the government is very proud of the code. When we introduced it in 2019, it was a nation-leading suite of measures designed to ensure that our contractors are providing safe workplaces and secure jobs.

As you are aware, Madam Speaker, we have recently secured extra funding for the code to strengthen the powers of the registrar and further improve procurement processes. I hope that the Canberra Liberals will be voting to support these measures in the budget, but I doubt they will, because secure employment is not on their books.

The ACT government also has a union encouragement policy across all directorates. This policy is not the whim of government but a recognition of the importance of unions in the workplace. For many decades, unions have fought continuously for secure employment and the benefits it provides. The government knows this and recognises the ongoing importance of worker representation on the right to secure employment.

DR PATERSON: Minister, why is secure employment so important?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Dr Paterson for her interest in looking after our workers. Unlike the Liberals, we know that secure employment does matter. We all like to live comfortably without the stress of an unstable income. We all want to be safe at work and we want to know that secure jobs are safe jobs.

Despite this, the Liberals are doing everything they can to cut entitlements, to benefit big business and to make working families worse off. Their changes to the Fair Work Act earlier this year have entrenched casualisation in the workforce. There are more Australians than ever working multiple jobs just to get by.

For over 100 years in this country, pay and working conditions have been seen as important to good life. Since the Harvester judgement, Australians have had the right to a job with wages that support a family and allow for a balanced lifestyle. That is being destroyed by the Liberals. Wages have fallen under the Liberal government.

Under the Morrison government, the gender pay gap in Australia has increased. This is unacceptable. It is a direct result of his government’s policies that have contributed to job insecurity and poor working conditions. The inaction from the federal government on policies that help women—better superannuation, wages and benefit increases, affordable child care and secure jobs—is appalling. And it is deliberately harmful. Their policies are hurting working Australians and leaving women worse off.

Mr Barr: Further questions can be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Information Privacy Act—data security

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (2.48): Earlier in question time I was asked

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