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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2846 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

That says it all about the destruction of the career service. The Assembly, I believe, will rue the day that it determined to proceed down the path to what Mr Ayers has called "a third-rate public service". When that comes to pass, those who voted for this legislation will be held accountable.

Once again, I urge members to think very carefully about this decision. It is not a minor matter that we are dealing with here. The legislation, as it stands at the moment, has been used to put people on contract and could be used again for that same purpose if circumstances warranted it and if the chief executives believed that that was the appropriate way to go. The Assembly is now contemplating removing any element of choice and compelling our entire SES, about 150 people, to be employed on contract, be downgraded or be sacked. Those are the choices before them. The amendment is the only reasonable way for this Assembly to move. I do recommend it to the Assembly as the way to ensure that we have a professional and apolitical public service that will serve the Canberra community.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (11.15): The Government will be opposing Ms Follett's amendment. Ms Follett seems today to be very good at coming up with half-truths, if not no-truths, shall we say.

Mr Berry: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: There is a clear imputation that Ms Follett has lied to the Assembly. That has to be withdrawn unequivocally.

MRS CARNELL: If there is any imputation along those lines, I am very happy to withdraw it.

Mr Berry: No; I require that it be withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: It has been.

Mr Berry: I require that the words be withdrawn.

MRS CARNELL: I just did.

MR SPEAKER: It has been withdrawn.

MRS CARNELL: If there was any imputation, then it has been withdrawn. That is what I said.

MR SPEAKER: It has been withdrawn.

MRS CARNELL: All States, except Queensland and the Northern Territory, and other countries such as New Zealand and, interestingly, the United Kingdom have, or will have, some form of contract employment for SES equivalents. It is interesting that Ms Follett seemed to indicate that under the current legislation we could employ agency heads on contract. The reality is that we cannot, because the legislation that she passed last year

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