Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2605 ..
MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. There were so many interjections during the answer that I did not quite hear all that the Chief Minister said. Chief Minister, I understood you to say that these 1,000 jobs, or more than 1,000 jobs, are only the first stage and will lead, over the next four years, to a great many more jobs than that. I think you made reference at one stage to many millions of dollars to be spent, a lot of which, I imagine, will translate into jobs. Is that correct? Is my understanding correct that these 1,000-plus jobs are only the first stage, to allow the problem to be defined and solutions to be identified, and that the actual correction of the problem will require perhaps many thousands of jobs Australia-wide?
MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the number of people that will be needed to solve the problem at all levels is simply unknown at this stage. Unisys believe that 1,000 jobs is a first stage and is, I suppose, a very small number in comparison to what really could be needed to deal with this significant problem. Mr Speaker, at a time when we have a number of Commonwealth public servants taking redundancies, I would have thought that this place would have believed that opportunities to retrain and develop new careers for those people would have been a very real positive. The reason this deal came about was - - -
Mr Kaine: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Berry objected to the answering of the earlier part of the question. He might at least listen to this part, instead of turning his back on the Chief Minister.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, you might ask Mr Kaine to which standing order he refers which requires us to listen to long and boring answers.
MR SPEAKER: I uphold Mr Berry's point of order. I do not know of any standing order, Mr Kaine, that can compel me to make Mr Berry listen to anything.
MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, this arrangement with Unisys came off simply because this Government has been out there talking to business all over Australia - big business - and selling Canberra to those companies. This particular arrangement came about as part of one of those meetings. When we were doing a sales pitch for Canberra about the things we had to offer - trained people and all those sorts of things - Unisys came back to us and said, "Well, we might have something we can talk about". It turned out that we did. Now we have some real opportunities for Canberrans, and those opposite just want to whinge and moan.
MS TUCKER: My question is to Mrs Carnell in her capacity as Minister for Health and Community Care. Mrs Carnell, a few weeks ago this policy on infection control in disability services, dated August 1996, was given to my office in response to questions I had been asking for some time about the lack of appropriate infection control procedures in group houses for people with a disability. This policy was flawed in fundamental ways. For example, there was no acknowledgment of employee responsibility. The policy contradicted itself regarding instructions to staff on contaminated waste. It was obviously put together hastily; it was a cut and paste job.