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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2216 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

The Opposition regards this as an important amendment. It provides that the staff assisting the authority, though not a large staff, shall be employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994. I see no reason why this should not automatically be the case. It seems to me appropriate that these people who are working in what clearly is an agency of the Government should be public servants and under the same provisions as all other public servants in the ACT. They get certain rights and privileges under that; they get certain protections that I think are important for them. The provision, as it currently stands, does nothing particularly for the authority or for those people. I do not know what argument could be advanced to say that the authority is going to work better if these people are not part of it. I think the logic should apply consistently across the work force. This amendment should be written into the legislation.

MS TUCKER (6.05): The Greens will not be supporting this amendment. It seems as though it is quite possible for public servants to be seconded across, and that probably would be appropriate in some circumstances. Because this is just a five-year term for this authority, I guess that we need to have flexibility to actually be employing various people with skills over that period of time. I think at the review period in five years there will be a time to look once again at whether or not this authority is continuing in any form and what the long-term requirements are. It may then be appropriate to put this provision in.

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (6.06): The Government will not be supporting Mr Wood's amendment. I agree entirely with what Ms Tucker has said; the Government considers that the most appropriate staffing arrangements for the authority is for staff to be employed under conditions determined by the authority, rather than the Public Sector Management Act. The authority will have only a very small number of staff, as Mr Wood has acknowledged. Its staffing needs and the skills of its staff will fluctuate constantly, I believe, and the Government believes that the authority will need considerable flexibility to respond to its needs at any given time. As Ms Tucker rightly said, there is going to be a review of the authority in five years' time anyway. For those reasons, the Government will not be supporting Mr Wood's amendment.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Remainder of Bill, by leave, taken as a whole, and agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

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