Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 2992 ..
Remainder of Bill, by leave, taken as a whole
MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (3.35): I move amendment No. 3 circulated in my name. It reads as follows:
Page 23, lines 5 to 10, clause 59, paragraph (b), omit the paragraph.
Amendment No. 3 proposes a change to clause 59. The clause provides for the making of management standards with respect to the payment of accumulated recreation and long service leave to officers accepting an executive contract. We are now suggesting that we should omit this paragraph. The Government intended to provide the option - I stress the word "option" - of cashing out accrued leave, but, on looking at the general budgetary situation at the moment, Mr Speaker, it is simply not possible.
MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (3.36): Mr Speaker, I think this is an extraordinary move by the Chief Minister. I think it really does smack of the contempt in which she holds this Assembly. Mr Speaker, if members go back to the first explanatory memorandum that the Government put out for this piece of legislation they will see the original proposition in relation to cashing out. I will quote from the explanatory memorandum. It says:
The effect of new paragraph (2)(za) is to enable the Commissioner to make Standards with respect to the payment of accumulated recreation and long service leave entitlements to officers accepting an executive contract. These entitlements would usually be payable only on termination of employment. The purpose of this provision is to provide for the "cashing out" of accrued leave. As Executive contracts will be for periods of five years or less, it is undesirable that persons entering those contracts retain large leave credits.
Mr Speaker, that suggested very strongly to me that people entering into contracts would, in fact, not be allowed to retain leave credits and would have to cash out their entitlements. That was very much the view taken by the majority report of the Public Accounts Committee when we examined this legislation. Our view was, of course, coloured by all of the information that we had available to us, including information and submissions from the Government. The majority of the Public Accounts Committee found as follows, at paragraphs 5.20 and 5.21:
Those SES officers, and indeed other officers of the ACTGS in the future, who accept executive contracts will incur substantial financial penalty and loss of amenity by being required to cash out accumulated recreation leave or long service leave entitlements. The Bill is silent on whether officers would also forfeit accumulated sick leave credits.