Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 2046 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
also make a very good case for having a member with expertise in community health in those two areas. That does not change the balance, which has been the argument until now, but it does manage to ensure that, when these people are appointed, the whole purpose of the health promotion notion is brought before that board in reaching its decisions. Mr Speaker, I think that is the fundamental issue that we need to go to. If amendment No. 2 is lost, I will flag that I will be prepared to put an amendment to Ms Tucker's amendment to achieve that goal.
MS TUCKER (4.32): We would continue to argue that there is not really an imbalance when you have a number of people dealing with different aspects of health; that it is actually very relevant. I have heard what Mr Moore said, and I understand the amendment that he is prepared to make to this amendment. There is some wisdom in that as well.
I have to say that, if we are to achieve cultural changes in the nature of decision-making, certain things do need to be legislated. It is not good enough to say, "Do not worry; we will make sure that there is a wide cross-section of interests represented; we do not need to legislate it". That was the line we heard about the membership of the ACTEW board in opposition to some of our amendments. It will always be at the whim of those in power just how much representation certain interests in our community have in decision-making bodies and processes.
The other line held against our proposals to have a greater range of voices on the ACTEW board was that the level of management and legal expertise required was so great. But the Government cannot get away with saying that a board that is supposed to be focused on promoting good health in the community cannot have a strong base of community representation. We have heard arguments that this sort of expertise is necessary again. There is a lack of understanding evident in that argument. Actually, the community often has the wisdom and solutions to these problems that you will not find in so-called experts. We continue to push for community representation.
MR CONNOLLY (4.34): I move:
Page 3, line 33, after "expertise in employee relations or occupational health and safety", insert "appointed by the Trades and Labour Council".
There is, generally speaking, a good argument for not being overly prescriptive in terms of appointments to boards as nominees of particular organisations, and I can have some sympathy with the Chief Minister's general reluctance to have nominees. For example, we are not having a person from the Arts Council representing the arts or a person from the AMA representing medicine, and that makes sense.
However, there is a good reason why a person representing employee interests should be a nominee of the representative body of employees in the ACT, the Trades and Labour Council. The reason for that is that some of the most innovative work and best work of the Health Promotion Fund has been the very innovative programs that have focused on