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MR BERRY (5.12): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move the amendment that has been circulated in my name.
MR BERRY: I move:
Paragraph (2), omit “Wednesday, 31 May”, substitute “Thursday, 1 June”.
The amendment merely seeks to change the notification time and date, because we are now past the time by which the notifications would have been required. So, it is merely a technical rearrangement of the close-off time for nominations until tomorrow.
Amendment agreed to.
MR MOORE (5.13): Mr Speaker, I think that the motion, as amended, is really much more suitable now. The tightening up of the times, I think, provides a challenge for the committee, of which I hope that I will be a member. I am sitting here writing out my nomination for the committee, Mr Speaker. I look forward to a very open inquiry. I reiterate the sentiments of Mr De Domenico. If Mr Berry is the chair of the committee - I will certainly be supporting him as the chair of that committee - I hope that he will use his good influence with the unions to ensure that in this matter we get as cooperative an approach as is possible. That should mean a very good outcome for the ACT.
Mr Speaker, through a series of estimates committees I have noted questions on Comcare that Mr De Domenico has asked. Indeed, I have asked quite a number of questions on Comcare. For quite some time I have been of the belief that the arrangements are not satisfactory. The impression I had from the previous Government was that it was an area that it was prepared to look into carefully. I think that we should be able to come up with a good result that is in the best interests of the people of the ACT and, in particular, in the best interests of people who are involved in workers compensation, so that we can provide a system where people are happy to get back to work and, where possible, to live much more fulfilled lives than would otherwise have been the case. I think that is the goal we are all after.
MR BERRY (5.15), in reply: I thank members for their support for this motion. I would like to respond to one thing that Mr De Domenico said in relation to the matter. I accept that there is a need to examine these issues with a view to getting the best outcome for the Territory. It is important to preserve those conditions which apply in relation to workers compensation, because it is one of the treasured security arrangements which were won by workers a long time ago. It is also important to ensure that the particular workers compensation arrangements that we have are good for the broad range of employees which exists throughout the Government Service. That is a very difficult formula, because the employment conditions of workers range from the physical grades right through to the professional grades and include the white-collar workers. At this point, I am not convinced that the interests of what have been described as the blue-collar workers are as well served as they might be; but that is a matter for examination.