Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 100 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

The words speak for themselves; but I would like to dwell on the first replacement paragraph, which notes the withdrawal of the threat in a cc:mail message received on 21 February at 10.56 am. I am told that that cc:mail message was sent at 10.46 am. I am told also that I rose to my feet in this place at 10.40 am.

Mrs Carnell: And I signed it off at 9.15 am.

MR BERRY: Mrs Carnell admits that she signed it at 9.15 am, with a view to playing smart alec games on this particular issue. If Mrs Carnell were serious about her so-called good faith, this should never have happened. This was a provocative move in the first place, aimed to elevate the dispute. It achieved its aim, but it is disgraceful incompetence in terms of the management of industrial disputation. It leads us nowhere but into further conflict.

So far as this debate is concerned, I would seek members' support for this amendment. I think it is a worthy amendment. It notes the funny business behind the Government's backdown. The fact is that the cc:mail message was sent after the member responsible for the motion was on his feet. The amendment also expresses the very firm view of this Assembly that this should never happen again. It is unacceptable. It does not do anything in terms of the settlement of industrial disputes; it elevates them. The Government ought to be ashamed of themselves. This amendment makes that clear.

MR MOORE (11.39): Mr Speaker, I think it is important to settle the history of how this motion came about. In fact, I was phoned by a member of a union - a leader of a union - who asked me what I thought about this payroll deduction of union dues business. I immediately responded that I thought it was appalling, entirely inappropriate and confrontationist. I then set about putting out a media release to say just that, saying that I would ensure that it went to the Assembly. I took time out to speak to Mr Osborne's office and the office of the Greens - although I did not speak to either member - who indicated that probably they would support it.

I showed the press release to Mr Berry later that day. He had gone past my office, and I said, "I want to catch up with you on something". He said that he was late for a meeting and that he had to keep going. I said, "I do not think it matters", knowing full well that the Labor Party would oppose this. I did not feel that was a problem. I showed Mr Berry the press release later that day. The following morning Mr Berry circulated the motion. It is not the normal process. Once a member is up and running something in here, we tend to allow them to put the motion and so on. However, the process is not particularly important. Mr Berry and I in fact discussed this. I said, "It is no big deal; put the motion".

The reason why I wanted to mention this is to demonstrate that I was certainly prepared to listen to the unions, as indeed I have been for seven years. It just emphasises to me the disappointment that I felt today when, after seven years of listening to them, I was denied the opportunity to have them listen to me.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .