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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1721 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Agencies like ours are non-government charities, not private "for profit" organisations. We have always provided the majority of child-welfare services in Canberra. We have also maintained a high level of professionalism, staff training, flexibility and commitment to our clients.

The ACT Government has contracted us to do this work and we work in close partnership with it.

We are concerned at the aspersions that have been cast on our work through the arguments put forward in this article, and in other media statements, during the process of handing the operation of Kaleen Youth Shelter to the non-government sector to run.

It seems that the young people and their families are being forgotten in the debate and quality of service not being afforded the priority it deserves.

Finally, in terms of evaluation, if the Government needed anything more to indicate that it was correct, Ms McRae, it was the irresponsible attitude of the CPSU in going out on strike and having to have those kids moved out, in many instances to the very non-government organisations they were criticising.

MS McRAE: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Since the Minister has pointed out that there was no evaluation whatsoever undertaken, I would like to know whether it is Government policy simply to go about terminating successful services.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, this Government is about providing the best possible service. Ms McRae, if we can provide a better service than another service for the same price, of course we will. I think we do that as a responsible government.

Government Service - Enterprise Bargaining

MS TUCKER: My question is for Mr De Domenico, who has had some notice of the question. How many Territory employees, particularly on incomes under $35,000, will suffer a real terms pay cut as a result of the Territory's pay offer of 3.9 per cent over three years? What will be the total real terms loss to these employees over the next three years?

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank the member for her question. The Government's proposals for enterprise bargaining in ACT public sector employment do not limit the amount of pay increases that can be negotiated over the next three years. Members will be aware that agency-based pay and productivity bargaining is a cornerstone of the Government's approach - not only this Government, but other governments around the States and the Federal Government as well. This will allow agencies to negotiate any order of pay increase that is affordable within their budget allocation and that is linked to improvements in workplace productivity and efficiency.

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