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Given the apparent inevitability of some form of corporatisation being passed, we will be moving some amendments in the detail stage. There are some issues we want to pick up in the detail stage which we think are fairly important, and I know that other members also have some issues they want to pick up. It seems extraordinary to me, and perhaps it reflects both the haste and the lack of consideration with which these proposals have been put together, that we have the situation where somehow or other we managed to exempt ACTEW from the FOI Act and from the Ombudsman's Office under the original Bills. We managed to put in proposals that would allow in the future for their exemption from whistleblower legislation, which seems to me to be a bit of an alarming notion.
Mr De Domenico: We have put them all back in again, though, have we not?
MR WHITECROSS: No, you have not.
Mr De Domenico: We are about to, are we not? You will support those, will you?
MR WHITECROSS: I will be moving an amendment.
Mr De Domenico: You have a look at our amendments too.
MR WHITECROSS: I have not seen them, Mr De Domenico. These are fundamental matters of public accountability, yet the legislation we were given to consider less than three weeks ago has somehow glossed over these things. We mean to fossick out these things. Nobody told me in the briefings, “By the way, Mr Whitecross, we do not think it is appropriate that ACTEW should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act”, or “We do not think ACTEW should be subject to the Ombudsman's Office inquiries”, or “We do not think ACTEW should be subject to whistleblower legislation”. It is up to individual members to fossick these things out for themselves, to work them out for themselves. This is not even a very informative approach to members of the Assembly, let alone to anybody else.
Mr De Domenico: You should have been here when we went through the Public Sector Management Bill.
MR WHITECROSS: I was not a member of the Assembly when we went through the Public Sector Management Bill, Mr De Domenico. I am concerned that these policy decisions were never explained to members. We were required to work them out for ourselves, and we were required to do that in less than three weeks. It seems to me that we are still in a situation where the case has not been made out, but we will do our best with what we have.
The other amendments the Labor Party will be pursuing tonight relate to the views of workers who work for ACTEW, whom Mr De Domenico claims to be very concerned about. They do not want ACTEW to be corporatised on 1 July 1995. They, like the rest of us, are saying, “Hang on a minute. Let us sit down and talk this out and work out exactly where we are going to be, and then corporatise it after that”. They are saying, “Let us dot all the i's and cross all the t's. Let us figure out exactly where we stand on all these things, and then we will corporatise ACTEW”. That is what the TLC is saying,