Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3022 ..
MS TUCKER (11.29), in reply: Mr Speaker, it is certainly interesting to hear that we are seen to be delaying. This is not the intention. We actually think that there is a serious issue here, and I have already explained what it is. It is about a huge blow-out in the wages budget. Ms Follett said that as chair she is quite happy to look at it in the Public Accounts Committee. It was my understanding that after looking at this issue the committee suggested that a remuneration tribunal should be looked at again. It is going to cost people in the ACT $60,000. We are not paying for the Commonwealth services at this point, so I do not know why we have to be so anxious to form our own tribunal.
Of course, the other issue is that we, as I said, are interested in seeing how these sorts of salaries can be linked to the other wage-paying mechanisms in the ACT. Mr Kaine thought it was a nonsense to suggest that we link his salary with those of other wage earners. That is exactly the attitude that upsets people in this community. Average earning people are not comfortable with seeing other people who consider their value as a human being and as a worker so extremely greater that they should earn much more than the average worker. This might sound very confrontational to people like Mr Kaine, but the point is that a lot of people in the community feel that. Maybe the fact that we have been here for only eight months puts us more in touch with that feeling. Perhaps people in this place are losing touch with how it feels not to be here. I would say to you all that you need to understand that it does not do any credit to people in leadership roles to be claiming the right to earn much more than the average earning person in the ACT. If leadership is about setting an example, then let us do it with the amount of money that we think is appropriate for our services. I urge members to support this motion.
MR SPEAKER: Order! It being 45 minutes after the commencement of Assembly business, the debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 77.
Motion (by Mr Humphries) agreed to:
That the time allotted to Assembly business be extended by 30 minutes.
That the motion (Ms Tucker's) be agreed to.
The Assembly voted -
AYES, 8 NOES, 9 Mr Berry Mrs Carnell Mr Connolly Mr Cornwell Ms Follett Mr De Domenico Ms Horodny Mr Hird Ms McRae Mr Humphries Ms Tucker Mr Kaine Mr Whitecross Mr Moore Mr Wood Mr Osborne Mr StefaniakQuestion so resolved in the negative.