Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (22 February) . . Page.. 194 ..
MRS CARNELL (continuing):
We now have over 200 bans in place in the ACT. We are willing to sit down and negotiate if the Trades and Labour Council shows just a smidgin of interest in moving on this thing. Six out of over 200 is not a lot.
Certainly, the thing I would like to do more than anything else is to get back to the negotiating table, but to do that I have to be convinced that the Trades and Labour Council is willing to negotiate. They are still saying to me quite categorically that it is 9 per cent fully budget funded, to quote a fax that was sent to me last night, with no trade-offs - no agency-specific productivity and none of the approach that Bob Carr is taking in New South Wales and that others are taking everywhere else. Just a tiny bit, a tiny movement, and I will be at the negotiating table in exactly one second.
MS McRAE: Mrs Carnell, I really think you have chosen the wrong profession. You have learnt your lines and you repeat them and repeat them. May I say that you would be brilliant on stage. But no-one believes them, least of all you, and it is time that you stopped trotting out this ridiculous mantra about giving a shred. The shred has been the four concessions. When are you going to listen to competent advisers who are telling you that your rhetoric is not making any sense and stop this charade that four out of six is not enough? No-one believes you and you are taking this Territory into horrendous conflict for no reason. When are you going to listen to competent advisers?
MRS CARNELL: The competent advisers we are talking about, as I have already said today, are exactly the same competent advisers who were in place for the previous Government. They are the same people. They are people I have an enormous amount of faith in. I am fascinated that those opposite are more than willing to get stuck into competent ACT public servants who have worked night and day since this dispute started, who have given their all in attempting to come up with a solution. I believe that they are doing a very good job, as I am sure they did for the previous Government.
MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mrs Carnell in her capacity as Chief Minister and de facto Minister for Industrial Relations. Chief Minister, during the present industrial dispute you have repeatedly stated that the Government will not negotiate with the unions while six specific bans are in place, and you repeated that requirement only a couple of minutes ago in answer to Ms McRae's question. In particular, on Monday night you refused to negotiate with the unions because two of those six bans had not been lifted. Why, then, have you sought to enter into negotiations with the two unions responsible for those two bans - the Australian Education Union and the Transport Workers Union?
MRS CARNELL: What we are attempting to do is to find a solution to this whole situation. The Trades and Labour Council have made it clear to me that they are not willing to negotiate on an agency-specific basis. They have said that there will be no trade-offs; there will be no agency-specific productivity measures. I believe that the workers in Canberra deserve a decent wage increase. As long as this goes on, they do not get it. So our approach has been to offer decent and very good wage increases directly to the workers, directly to the people out there who are providing services to the ACT.