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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2204 ..

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Mr Berry for his question. Is it any wonder that former Senator Graham Richardson wrote what he did in the Bulletin about this poor, sad version of what the Labor Party once was. I will answer the question quite happily. If Mr Berry had the time to go out and talk to the senior executives in the ACT public service, or most of them, he would realise that most of them are quite happy to go on contract. What this Government will do is what every other government in this country, both Labor and Liberal, has done. Go and talk to your colleague Mr Carr in New South Wales, Ms Follett. I know he will not talk to you because you are in the wrong faction, but if you ever go and talk to your colleagues elsewhere in the country you will realise that this is the best way to go.

As for Mr Berry's connotation that we ought to get permission from the Trades and Labour Council before we do anything, this Government, unlike the previous Government, does not require permission from the Trades and Labour Council before it takes the decisions it thinks it needs to take. It is up to this Assembly to then have a look at those decisions and, if they are not happy with them, attempt to change them. This Government will continue to do what is best for the people of the ACT. If that means putting senior government servants on contracts, that is what we will do, and we will not be getting permission from the trade union movement before we try to do it.

MR BERRY: I ask a supplementary question. I thank Mr De Domenico for his advice that compatibility is the major requirement for a contract with the Government. Compatibility is a condition. Given that the Government has directly approached all staff about enterprise bargaining, will the Government extend to unions who represent those staff in the enterprise bargaining negotiations the ability to directly contact the staff in the same way that the Government does?

MR DE DOMENICO: I dare say that, if those staff members who are union members wish to be contacted by the unions, they can be. This Government does not get involved in that sort of thing; but, if the unions want to contact the staff, they can.

Mr Berry: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I might inform Mr De Domenico that advice through the same channels has not been allowed for union officials in order that they can contact their members. Will Mr De Domenico guarantee that, like management, the ability of trade unions to contact their members through the Internet is guaranteed?

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, can I say that the information the Government sent out to its employees was factual information. Can I also suggest to Mr Berry, based on some of the information that has been sent out by the CPSU, that you can call it anything you like but certainly it is not factual.

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