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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 47 ..


Financial Management Reform Unit : Industrial Relations Consultant

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, on 13 December 1995 I took two questions on notice during question time. One was asked by Ms Follett relating to the appointment of Mr Steven Anderson as head of the Financial Management Reform Unit. The other, asked by Mr Wood, concerned the appointment by the Government of Mr Paul Houlihan as a contractor. On 28 December 1995 I provided those answers in writing to Ms Follett and Mr Wood. I now table those answers.

Suspension of Standing Orders

Motion (by Mr Berry) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent resumption of the debate on the motion of censure of the Chief Minister and the Minister for Industrial Relations being brought on forthwith.

Motion of Censure

Debate resumed.

MR MOORE (3.14): Mr Speaker, in addressing this motion, I think it is important to put the dispute in context. It is not only a dispute about the Government and unions, about employer and employee; it is also a dispute about the two-party system. It is a dispute about Liberal and Labor. Earlier today, at the beginning of his speech, Mr Berry described the issue as a silly stand-off. Indeed, those of us who sit on the outside and look at it would say that it is a silly stand-off. We would also say that when we read the motion we see that, apart from paragraphs (1) and (2), which deal generally with the subject, paragraph (3) censures the Chief Minister and the Minister for Industrial Relations for their failure to negotiate in good faith. The motion asks us to make a judgment about good faith. In this case, the judgment is about good faith, about one party, not about the good faith on the part of both parties.

One wonders how an outsider, in the sense I described earlier, could make a judgment about good faith in the light of the current Federal election. For the Liberals, they have the opportunity to indicate to the community that they will not bend to the unions, that they will not have their agenda driven by unions, that there will not be a Federal government that is effectively run by unions. On the other hand, for the unions and for Labor, they have the opportunity to demonstrate how bad the Liberal Government is, how a Liberal government here will fail to deal with unions, and how a John Howard Liberal government would therefore, by implication, fail to deal with unions in the Federal sphere. It is impossible to see this situation without considering the life of the Federal election.

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