Page 4096 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 24 November 1993

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Madam Speaker, I believe that in Canberra we have many attributes to be proud of. It is a city region unique in Australia, if not in the world. Our quality of life, safety, open space and access to ecotourism, in addition to our national capital cultural attractions, are second to none. In education, research and advanced technology we have competitive products for the Asian market. It is important that all of us encourage these opportunities to be developed. I believe that the ACT business delegation to Japan took a first step in this development. Madam Speaker, I commend the mission report of the ACT business delegation to Japan to the Assembly. I present a copy of this statement and I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, I would like to depart from my normal practice and pay a special tribute to some of my own public servants whose work on this Japan delegation was of unparalleled excellence and of a dedication that was far above and beyond the call of duty. Those people are Dr Colin Adrian, Mr Ross Sue See and Miss Lorraine Cox. I am sure that all members of the delegation would join with me in commending the fantastic work that those three people, amongst a range of others - but those three in particular - did to make this mission such a success. I want to place on record my very heartfelt thanks to the three of them.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Ministerial Statement

MR BERRY (Minister for Health, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Sport): I seek leave to make a ministerial statement on the conference of Commonwealth, State and Territory Labour Ministers held in Canberra on 22 October 1993.

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: The conference of Commonwealth, State and Territory Labour Ministers which took place since the Assembly last met was held in Canberra on 22 October and, as you would expect, I represented the ACT Government. The chief item on the agenda was the package of amendments to the Industrial Relations Act proposed by the Federal Minister for Industrial Relations, the Hon. Laurie Brereton. I am happy to inform the Assembly that I was able to signal the broad support of the ACT Government for the Commonwealth's legislation proposal.

Assembly members will be aware that there is no system of State or Territory awards in the ACT. The policy approach of the Government is to avoid the duplication and proliferation of industrial relations tribunals. Our preference is that there should be a single industrial relations system for Australia. Pending the achievement of that reform, the ACT Government supports the harmonisation of the Federal and State systems. This will best serve the interests of national uniformity and maximise the likelihood of consistency of process and outcomes for Australian industry and workers.

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