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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (24 October) . . Page.. 1956 ..

MR KAINE: When I read the terms of reference, we are obviously going to ignore everything that Hilmer did. That is obviously not relevant. There are some matters here that go into enormous detail. We are going to be asked to have a look and see whether or not the introduction of this Bill will affect the maintenance of basic wage and work conditions, including legislation and policies relating to matters such as occupational health and safety and access and equity. How on earth do you do that? How on earth does any committee of this Assembly do that, and why do we need to? Why do we need to when we are implementing a nationwide policy which Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister and Premiers of State governments agreed months ago that we would implement? As I say, either people do not understand the background and the reason why this Bill is on the table or, if they ever did understand it, they have forgotten.

I am not too sure what this investigation is going to add to the wealth of knowledge we already have about the reasons for this Bill and what it is intended to do. Presumably, the previous Chief Minister well understood all of these ramifications before she agreed at a Premiers Conference to participate in the program. Now the same person is going to sit, as the names are presumably in a given order here, as chairperson of this committee, to look at what? Things she has already agreed a year or more ago that we would undertake to do. I find it quite incredible, frankly.

I do not know what the result of a vote on the floor of the house in the next few minutes or some time today or tomorrow is going to be. I presume from the fact that the motion is on the table that enough people have agreed for this to go ahead; but I am confounded, I repeat, as to what the purpose of the inquiry is going to be and what we are expected to come up with that is not already known or that has not already been taken into account in the original determination that this program would be followed. I do not know where people have been for the last three to five years while all of this has been developed. Presumably, they have been living in another country or on another planet and have no comprehension of any of the background. If that is the case, perhaps they could be forgiven; but I think the Leader of the Opposition would not be one of those.

MS TUCKER (4.03), in reply: I can relate to Mr De Domenico feeling frustrated. I think everybody could in this place. You do not stand alone on that. The lecturing, this "You do not understand" stuff, does not go over too well either, Mr De Domenico.

Mr De Domenico: I did not say that at all.

MS TUCKER: It is very often coming from that side of the house, believe me. We have a different understanding of the value of social and environmental costing of policies that are basically driven by economic rationalism and ideology. We have made it quite clear that we do not like the broad-brush approach of this legislation. We have also made it quite clear, and Hilmer also made the point, that there is benefit in an approach that looks at different pieces of legislation individually. There is no harm in doing that and he saw the merit in it.

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