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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 2048 ..

MR CONNOLLY (continuing):

If the Government is not able to support us on amending the legislation, I would like to hear that you are going to be looking for a person who is a trade unionist, a trade union official, not somebody who is a consultant or a so-called expert in this area. You need a person from the workplace, from the union movement. The best way to achieve that is by having a nominee of the Trades and Labour Council.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Minister for Health and Community Care) (4.39): Mr Speaker, in opposing Mr Connolly's amendment, I would like to remind members of the Assembly of what we have done with the membership of the board. We want on the board the expertise that we will need for the management of the fund. What we are talking about is a board that can manage a major fund. We are not trying to cover all the areas that the fund will be involved in. We are not trying to have on the board members that are involved in football, the Cancer Society, the National Heart Foundation, or all the other areas that the fund is involved in.

It is true that the fund will continue to negotiate projects with the unions and with the TLC. Mr Connolly is right; a lot of the very important projects that the Health Promotion Fund has funded in the past have been organised by the union movement at the workplace level. I hope that those sorts of approaches continue in the future. This is only a small board. It has only part-time membership. I do not believe that it is appropriate to have on such a board a right to membership for any particular organisation, regardless of who that is. That does not mean that we have anything against the Trades and Labour Council. I would feel similarly if the National Heart Foundation wanted a right to membership of this particular body, or if the Arts Council wanted the right to membership. We will not be supporting that sort of right.

What we are saying, though, is that the Health Promotion Fund, from my perspective, will continue to work closely with the union movement. We will be very happy to look at proposals put forward by the union movement for workplace-based projects to improve health in the workplace. That does not mean that you need somebody from the union movement on the board. Currently Kate Lundy is a member of the advisory committee and she has done an extremely good job; but she has done a good job because of the expertise she personally brings to the board and her commitment to health promotion generally, not because of whom she represents. I believe strongly that to allow that sort of right of membership to any organisation would inevitably blow out, would inevitably cause a problem for the board, and would inevitably mean that the Health Promotion Fund, or HealthPACT as we are going to have to start calling it, will not be as successful as it otherwise could be.

MR SPEAKER: Members, before we continue with the debate, I would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of students and staff of St George's College in Adelaide, South Australia. Welcome.

MR BERRY (4.42): I think the Chief Minister has missed the point completely. It is true that Ms Lundy has done a great job in relation to her duties on that committee, but the Chief Minister seems to be saying that it is not because of her position in the Trades and Labour Council. She is dead wrong.

Mrs Carnell: It is because she is capable.

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