Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 402 ..
MRS CARNELL (continuing):
pay increases offset by productivity gains, then it would appear that the parties are not too far apart and, from what Ms Lundy said, were never too far apart. It is very sad that those on the union side have been unwilling even for a minute to move away from the 9 per cent fully budget funded increase. We have made offers, based upon 9.7 per cent - 2.6 per cent, plus productivity. All of those things have been our position the whole way through.
I am very pleased, and I am sure that everyone in this Assembly is very pleased, that we now find out - assuming that Ms Lundy is representing the TLC - that the position of the TLC is virtually the same as the Government's. I am very hopeful that the negotiations that are currently under way will come up with that sort of arrangement.
MR KAINE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Since the Trades and Labour Council has now reached a position which is substantially the same as that which is the basis of the Government's offer, can you confidently state that problems between the Government and the trade unions could be resolved, say, within 24 hours?
Opposition members interjected.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Kaine has the call. Continue, Mr Kaine.
MR KAINE: Throw another handful of wheat to the chooks, will you, Mr Speaker? Can we assume that the resolution of the problem can be reasonably expected within, say, 24 hours?
MRS CARNELL: Negotiations had been scheduled for and were on this morning; are on this afternoon; and are scheduled for tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon. We have an undertaking to report back to the commission on Friday. I am sure that, when the commission sees that Ms Lundy's position on this is as it is, we will be able to come up with some sort of an arrangement. Certainly, from the Government's perspective, I hope that that is the case. But this Government will not be caving in to a wage increase that the community cannot afford.
MS TUCKER: My question is directed to the Minister for Business, Employment and Tourism, Mr De Domenico. It is in regard to the Government's decision to offer an $11m tax break to CRA. Does this mean that we can expect the Government to provide similar incentives and concessions to battling small businesses and green industries which are trying to make a go of it in the ACT? Could the Minister inform the Assembly when the Government will be awarding rate concessions to local green businesses, announcing a provision of assistance for the development of a recycling estate and other concessions for small businesses who are trying to compete with nationals and multinationals?