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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 1919 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

At the time of corporatising ACTEW we put forward amendments calling for these representatives to be on the board. At the time, Mr Osborne opposed the amendment because the Government agreed to have on the board someone representing social justice interests. This commitment was made informally, however. We hope that Mr Osborne may now be aware of the benefits of having this much more formally enshrined, and we hope to have his support for these amendments. The commencement date for these amendments is flexible and is to be fixed by the Minister. We appreciate that the Assembly may prefer that they come into effect with some lead time so as not to cause unnecessary disruption to the activities of the existing boards. I commend these amendments to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr De Domenico) adjourned.


MR BERRY (3.37): I move:

That this Assembly expresses its regret at the recent attempt by Mr Stefaniak, the Minister for Education and Training, to pit sports workers and volunteers against teachers in the long running education dispute.

Furthermore the Assembly expresses its concern over the inability of Mr Stefaniak to settle his dispute with the Australian Education Union with all its impacts on the school community in the ACT.

Mr Speaker, this motion, which is about to be debated rather later than we first expected, is one of serious consequence to the community in the ACT. It is a matter of great regret that we have to get to this point, particularly in education. Somebody amongst the Liberals earlier raised their eyebrows or made some negative remarks about the fact that I was moving this motion. There is clearly a serious industrial dispute, and I have no difficulty in dealing with this matter as the Labor Party's spokesperson on industrial relations.

Mr Speaker, Mr Stefaniak would have to go down in history as the most unsuccessful Minister for Education that self-government has seen.

Mr Wood: I do not know. He is knocking off Gary for that title; is that what you mean?

MR BERRY: Mr Humphries was quite often seen doing something wrong. Mr Stefaniak is not seen doing anything. There is a distinct difference in the modus operandi of the two Ministers. Mr Speaker, there is nothing which will ensure that an industrial dispute is persisted with more than involving oneself in strike-breaking activities, especially at a point when there should be negotiation and consultation and a working through of the issues.

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