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From these members, the Minister will appoint a chair and deputy chair. The Bill provides for the usual processes of councils, including remuneration, leave of absence, disclosure of interest and resignation and termination of appointment. There is also provision for the establishment of advisory committees, which may be required from time to time to deal with matters of concern to the council. The final clauses of the Bill require the Executive to consult with the council before approving protocols or amendments, and set out the protocol for consultation.
This Bill is important at a time when the Liberal Government has sprung, without its promised consultation, a range of things on this Assembly and the people of the ACT. You have to look only at debate in the last couple of days to see where the Liberals have gone on important issues without consultation. I think it is important that this Bill, which seeks to entrench, if you like, consultation in legislation, is recognised by this Assembly. It also will be recognised in the community as a positive sign, because there would surely be some negatives about the way that the Government has handled its business in recent times. This seeks to ensure that workers compensation conditions cannot be changed without consultation with those affected.
We have seen various things happen. I will run over them again. On the old Kingston-Acton land swap there was no consultation. It was sprung on the ACT without the promised consultation. We have seen proposals to change the management of Namadgi. I suspect that there is more going on in relation to that at this very point, without consultation - in secret, and behind closed doors. We have seen business confidence falling in the community. This is the party which says that it represents small business. If you were representing me, I would give you the dump tomorrow, because the lack of confidence out there is clearly demonstrated by the falling number of job advertisements in the ACT, and the appalling result on the unemployment front, where the ACT has fallen behind the national trends, and significantly so. There is no way that you can deny that. Have a look at the ABS figures. It demonstrates how poorly the business sector regards you. They are putting off decisions in relation to their businesses, because they just do not know where this Government is going. They are wondering, I suspect, about what the Government will do in the next budget, or whether, in fact, it is capable of putting one together in September.
Mr Hird: There is enthusiasm out there.
MR BERRY: Mr Hird says, “There is enthusiasm”. There is enthusiasm to mark time all right, until they find out what this Government is doing. That is what the enthusiasm is about. Just hang on a minute; we do not know what Mrs Carnell is up to.
The position in relation to workplace safety is the same as the position on issues like rehabilitation and workers compensation. The people need to have a very clear understanding, and a clear facility available to them, to ensure that consultation occurs. All the rhetoric and promises of the last election mean nothing now, because the community out there knows that this Government did not mean a word of it. They were not in the place five minutes when they closed down the Assembly, as far as regular night sittings are concerned, in which the community could be involved. It just goes on and on from there. There is complete arrogance.