Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 2816 ..
MR BERRY (continuing):
responsibility for managers to manage. When managers make a decision with the imprimatur of the Government - the Government has given them the task and they have made the decision - the Government then says, "It is not our fault; it is somebody else's fault. It is not right. We are going to change it. It will not happen".
You cannot get out of it that way. You cannot say on the one hand, "Our policy is to let the managers manage", and then avoid the responsibility for handing over that job to your managers. The fact of the matter is that it is your responsibility, and you have it under the current arrangements; you do not have to change it. That is why you have been severely embarrassed today. Mr Connolly quite rightly - - -
Mrs Carnell: Mr Connolly has, because he lied.
MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister just interjected, "Mr Connolly has; he lied". I would ask you to have the Chief Minister withdraw that.
Mrs Carnell: I am happy to withdraw that.
MR BERRY: We have a position where Mrs Carnell is trying to blame anybody in sight and out of sight for decisions she has given people the responsibility to enact. Fair enough; if that is the way she wants to run the business, she can do that under the current arrangements. But she has to take the responsibility herself. What is she trying to tell us about the new arrangement? Will there be some other special way she can avoid the responsibility by handing it over to the special managers she puts in place? I am telling you, and I am sure that other members in this place will tell you, that you are kidding yourself, so why are you doing it? It is absolute nonsense. It is just an ideological plan that falls into line with the old Liberal plans to have everybody on individual contracts, to move it right down through the work force. It is the same sort of cowboy industrial relations that we see occurring out there in the workplace, with Mr De Domenico threatening to lock workers out and refusing to rule out the use of scab labour in the workplace. It is all that really heavy redneck stuff, and it is all part of the old Liberal ideology.
Mrs Carnell, I think you are trying to mislead the community into believing that there is something special about what you are doing and that there is not an appropriate way to control the public service with the existing arrangements. We went through this on 22 July 1994 in putting together the public sector management arrangements. Where were the Liberals then with these new and bright ideas? The people could have assessed the Liberals for what they were at the last election, and other people could have shot holes in all of these changes that are being proposed. No, keep them under wraps, a bit like John Howard. Do not tell anybody about them; keep them all under wraps until the last minute. Smother it with honeyed promises and sugary words to try to avoid any assessment of what you are on about.
I am glad that Mr Humphries has come back, because he is the one who a moment ago was trying to convince us in a mealy-mouthed sort of way that the new arrangement they are proposing would make people more accountable in this new system. What about the chief executive of Health, whom you did over, Mr Humphries? He was pretty accountable. Have you forgotten that? I will bet he felt pretty accountable when he