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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2854 ..

Mr Kaine: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Leader of the Opposition is in contempt of the Chair. I suggest that you do something about it, not sit there taking it.

MR SPEAKER: Order, or I will deal with you, too, Mr Kaine. Just be very careful.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 5 and 6, by leave, taken together, and agreed to.

Clause 7

MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (11.40): Mr Speaker, I move amendment No. 1 that has been circulated in my name on the pink sheet, which reads as follows:

Page 4, line 31, proposed new section 28A, after subsection (1), insert the following subsections:

"(1A) A contract under section 28 that contains a provision of the kind referred to in subsection (1) shall specify the grounds on which the contract may be terminated under that provision.

"(1B) The grounds specified pursuant to subsection (1A) shall not include -

(a) the ground that the person employed under the contract is incompatible with another person; or

(b) any ground to the same effect.".

I advise members that I have now abandoned the white sheets with my amendments on them and will deal entirely with the pink ones, for ease of reference and so on. Mr Speaker, the amendment that I am moving here addresses one of the most serious inadequacies of the Government's legislation, and that is the proposal by the Government to be able to terminate contracts on the basis of incompatibility with an executive. It seems to me that, if we are to legislate along these lines, then all SES officers and all chief executives are very much under threat of having their employment terminated merely at a whim and for no good reason. I do not believe that that is good enough. It is a matter that we did examine at some length in the Public Accounts Committee's review of this legislation, and I have to say that we never got a satisfactory answer from those who were providing advice to the committee.

Mr Speaker, what the Government says it is seeking to do is to legislate or to codify against what they purport to be an existing situation where people are sacked for no good reason, yet they have consistently failed to come up with any example of where this has happened or where it might happen. The fact is it has not happened, Mr Speaker.

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