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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (22 February) . . Page.. 167 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

It has been known for some time and it has been addressed. The need for a committee of inquiry into the matter became quite urgent as Mr De Domenico continued to chant the mantra in relation to Comcare.

Mrs Carnell: As a result, things have happened.

Mr De Domenico: And as a result, things have happened.

MR BERRY: It was not Comcare, and Mr De Domenico has been exposed on that score.

Mrs Carnell: As a result, we have a senior manager of Comcare working with us.

MR BERRY: Of course, it is the old, fashionable States' rights argument that you hear from the conservatives about attacking the Commonwealth if you need an excuse to attack them.

Mr De Domenico: Have you spoken to Gary Johns about this? You have not, obviously. You have not spoken to your own people.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I refer you to standing order 207. It may give you cause to listen to the level of interjections and the extent to which they may be disrupting the Assembly and compare them to what happened yesterday. Mr Speaker, I raise that point again. I am concerned about the Government's rejection of that recommendation. I think it was a sensible recommendation. It would have tidied up the situation. It would have taken the power out of the hands of the Executive. I think we have seen in recent weeks the power to police these things. The power of the Executive has not been used well in industrial relations. It has not sorted out the problems in the industrial relations area. I think that the statutory authority recommendation would have gone a long way towards assisting the situation.

A further recommendation was in relation to Comcare. It went on to say that the Government should retain Comcare as the compensation and rehabilitation provider for the ACT Government Service. I have to say, reading the response by the Government, that I can read between the lines. There is still some antagonism towards Comcare there. It just goes on to mouth the Federal Act and the requirement for the Government to give 12 months' notice, and so on and so forth. There is no commitment to the recommendation. It merely says, in a weasel-worded way:

The Government supports the objective of this recommendation.

I think, Mr Speaker, that the Government's response to this recommendation has been weak. I do not think it guarantees - - -

Mr De Domenico: Have you read it yet?

MR BERRY: I know the ground well and I have all your responses in my hand.

Mr De Domenico: You have not read it yet, but you think it is weak.

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