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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (26 March) . . Page.. 655 ..

MR BERRY: It is getting a bit too hot for you.

Mr Kaine: Would you ask him to sit down while I am making my point of order?

MR SPEAKER: Resume your seat, Mr Berry.

Mr Kaine: The member had identified the fact that those media releases had been put out by Mrs Carnell. Therefore, when he continued to repeat the fact - - -

MR BERRY: I withdrew it, Mr Speaker. I have already withdrawn it.

Mr Kaine: His time is up.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The member's time has expired.

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Industrial Relations) (4.17): Mr Speaker, I think it is important to bring to the Assembly's attention some new information I have received in the past 48 hours. This information sheds light on a previously unreported aspect of this enterprise bargaining dispute - exactly what role has been played by the Opposition during the past seven weeks. The Labor Party makes no secret of its close links with the trade union movement. Indeed, it is a pretty well-known fact that, whenever an official moves from a trade union into politics for the Labor Party, it is referred to as a transfer from the head office to the branch office. What this Assembly has not been told about while this dispute has been going on is the repeated, deliberate attempts by Mr Berry to undermine any progress in negotiations between unions and the Government.

I have become aware, through discussions with members of various trade unions, that Mr Berry threw his total support behind the Trades and Labour Council's campaign, even to the point of spreading misinformation amongst some unions that were concerned about the direction that the TLC was taking. In short, Mr Speaker, it has become clear that Mr Berry is one of the driving forces behind this prolonged campaign of bans and strikes, urging union members to ramp up their efforts to new levels. Mr Berry, more than anyone else in this chamber, stands condemned, Mr Speaker, for actively encouraging industrial warfare, not negotiation, as the standard response of the trade union movement.

When this Government was talking to the TLC about using an independent facilitator to aid negotiations, what was Mr Berry doing? He was on the phone, spreading rumours that Mr Michael Easson, the deputy chair of ACTEW and the former secretary of the New South Wales Trades and Labour Council, had been engaged by the Government when he knew that it was not the case. He knew that.

Mr Whitecross: You could not sell this story to the brothers Grimm.

MR DE DOMENICO: Just wait and listen. Several unions have reported that Mr Berry's office received media releases from the TLC, as Mrs Carnell said, before they themselves even got copies; and, wait for this, both Mr Berry and Mr Brereton -

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