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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 2786 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

chief executives are increased, as has been rumoured in the Canberra Times, then the cost to the ACT community may actually increase. Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister said on Tuesday:

I think the area where the committee missed most badly, though, was in trying to equate the ACT public service with the Commonwealth Public Service ...

She went on:

The Commonwealth is much more of a policy-related arena. It simply does not work the same way as a State-based operation.

Mr Speaker, I wonder whether Mrs Carnell has ever had a discussion over the work of the Department of Social Security. Indeed, she might well have. That department is responsible for a very great deal of service delivery, as even the most casual conversation would tell you, and it is one of the largest Commonwealth departments. Another very large Commonwealth department also heavily into service delivery is the Department of Employment, Education and Training, which includes the CES. There is a great deal to be learnt from the Commonwealth, Mr Speaker, which has traditionally been the leader in public administration in this country. More importantly, as I said on Tuesday, the Commonwealth is the larger of the public services here in Canberra, and it probably always will be. This means that the ACT public service will benefit most from being able to recruit from the Commonwealth and having its own public servants gain experience at another level of government without leaving the national capital.

Mr Speaker, we do not believe that this Bill provides for public sector reform at all. It represents simply the implementation, within the top ranks of the ACT public service, of the Liberal Party ideology of belief in the private sector marketplace, an ideology which is intrinsically anti-public sector. Another conservative Liberal Party ideology which is also incorporated in this legislation is the opposition to those in the community who have carer responsibility or other needs in their lives that prevent them from being employed full time. Despite all the rhetoric from those opposite, their true colours are demonstrated by the words of the legislation. The fact is that all chief executives and all senior executives must be full time. The existing provisions which enable chief executives and senior executives to be part time will be removed. The Government has stated in its own legislation that all of those positions will be full time.

Another aspect of this legislation that has not received much public debate is the fact that the legislation removes conditions of employment from about 150 public servants.

Mr Berry: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Ms Follett is delivering a very important contribution to the debate. Mr Moore is trying to make sure that Mr Osborne does not hear this part of the debate. It would be nice to have a little bit of order so that people can listen to what is going on. Mr Osborne can make up his own mind.

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