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MS TUCKER: I do not understand why he said that then, but that was the impression that I was definitely given quite clearly. He felt that if he got what he wanted, which was to get on the board one person with a social welfare background, that was fine. There is nothing in writing to say that. There has just been a verbal agreement made - and that is not good enough - in terms of the make-up of a board.
Mr Moore: It is not good enough for you, but it is good enough for some of us.
MS TUCKER: Maybe, it is good enough for some people; it is certainly not good enough for us. We just stress, once again, that, if you are going to have a balanced corporation, you need to address these concerns. I recommend, once again, that the Public Interest Advocacy Centre’s publication, which is full of detail on all the concerns that it has about accountability and equity, needs to be read before you look any more at this legislation.
MS McRAE (12.16 am): I realise that it is late at night and a lot of people are starting to lose the plot, but we somehow got off the main point of what this amendment is all about. I would like to add my support to this amendment. This is a socially progressive amendment. This looks at business in the modern world. What has been shown over and over again is that a diversity of culture produces a far better outcome than a clone does. What we have found in the public sector or in the private sector is that, if you have a diversity of input, you are going to have a far better output.
We are talking about one of the most important corporations to the ACT. We are talking about efficiency. You cannot produce efficiency; you cannot produce the outcomes that are the best things for the people of the ACT if you do not have input from the full range of interests. Your economic output will actually be improved by the addition of clear-headed, green thinking or clear-headed social policy. People on low incomes want to pay their bills. People on low incomes want their services. The people who run ACTCOSS or social welfare organisations know best how to meet those needs. They do not want to end up with an organisation that wastes time and money cutting off electricity and putting it on again; or cutting off water and putting it on again. If they understand how the social welfare sector works, then you get a more efficient outcome for the business. It is the same with the green issues. If you put on the board directors who understand the green issues, you get input at the point of management of those issues; rather than trying to go back, five years later, and rectify the errors because people on the board of management - the directors - did not understand the issues in the first place, and made decisions that they thought were the best for the bottom line, for the profit, and all the other nonsense that is spouted at us. Then we find that we have to pick up the pieces a good deal later.
This is a progressive way to manage any organisation; it is adhering to principles of modern management which decry the replication of clones. We have seen throughout the public sector that, the greater diversity you get, the better the outcome of policy. We have seen in the progressive businesses around the world that, the greater diversity of people you have managing the business, the better the profit. We have seen it at every other level of life. The minute that we get women involved in public life and in business as directors, we get a far better output; not because we are women, but because women bring to the circumstances a far wider experience of life than men who normally get into the public sector, public political life, or the private sector. It is the same model as what this amendment attempts to do. It is acting in the best possible interests of the people of the ACT.