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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (5 September) . . Page.. 3221 ..

MR WHITECROSS (continuing):

You would have thought that that was a pretty reasonable state of affairs; that they were sensible recommendations. What was the Government's response to the unions? What did they say to the unions about this? This is what they said to the unions:

In general the Government is prepared to accept the Commission's recommendations and agrees with the Commissioner's opinion that they give the parties a basis for reasoned discussions on legitimate concerns about terms and conditions of employment and job security. However, you should note that the Government did decide to transfer most of Works and Commercial Services on 1 January 1997, and that the start date was set in the main to allow consultation of the nature and on topics envisaged by Commissioner O'Shea.

The Government does not want there to be any misapprehension that it considers these recommendations to relate to the decision itself. It fully agrees they cover legitimate industrial interests of terms and conditions of employment and job security and on that basis looks forward to early and productive consultation.

In other words, the Government is not willing to accept a constructive and productive basis of negotiation under which it would consider alternatives put forward by the unions. It is not willing to approach these negotiations in a positive way, and it is taking absolutely no notice of Commissioner O'Shea's ruling that they not proceed to make the transfer irrevocable. They are saying, "Come what may, come hell or high water, this transfer will happen on 1 January 1997. We do not care what the Industrial Relations Commission thinks; we do not care what the unions think; we do not care what our own workers think. We will do this, come hell or high water.".

Even in the face of an admonition from the Industrial Relations Commission that they take seriously their own enterprise bargaining agreement and, I might add, their own election promise, we still have a situation where consultation with the Carnell Government means one thing and one thing only, and that is consultation on the things that the Government wants to consult on, not on the things that both parties want to consult on. If you have a disagreement with the Government, the Government reserves the right to take absolutely no notice of you, regardless of how good your ideas might be.

Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre : Paralympians :
Works and Commercial Services - Corporatisation

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (6.50): Mr Speaker, let me answer three things. Mr Moore, quite rightfully, will get an answer to his question. I do not know whether the ACTEW board has sued Mr Alby Schultz for defamation, but I will find out, Mr Moore, and let you know.

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