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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1785 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

something shameful, as if it is something to be ashamed of. It is also exacerbated, I think, by the approach of this Government; the fact that it does pay lip-service to the need in the purchaser-provider arrangements and the arrangements with agencies to have some regard to some basic human resource management.

For me, the lie to the Government's commitment to act as a reasonable employer is well illustrated in the Government's response to the Estimates Committee. I notice that the Government chose to respond to certain paragraphs, not recommendations, included in the Estimates Committee's report. I am intrigued by the Government's response to paragraph 2.36 in the Estimates Committee's report. That paragraph says:

While the committee accepts that the Government will this year start to develop human resource strategic plans, it is concerned that agencies are not able, at this time, to give an informed opinion as to what their human resource needs will be at any stage during the year, and that the Government is not prepared to make an assessment of those needs.

I will read the Government's response to that, but I have to confess it is just gobbledegook to me. It means absolutely nothing. If this is the best the Government can do in terms of a response designed to allay the concerns that any worker has about the security of their employment, then I ask you to test it. If you can understand this you are doing better than me. The Government's response to that concern of the Estimates Committee was this:

The management of staffing resources is an ongoing, day to day requirement of all agencies against the background of the roles and responsibilities that agencies must fulfil. The absence of formal HR plans does not of itself reflect some fundamental deficiency in agency planning processes. The development of the HR strategic plans simply reflect a more focused approach in the future managing the significant resource level applied to staff resources.

Those are just plain weasel words. They mean absolutely nothing. The Estimates Committee was raising a legitimate concern about the right of staff to know whether or not they are going to have a job next week, next month or next year, and the Government responded with that sort of nonsense. I think it is reflective of the Chief Minister's attitude and her determination not to allow the inclusion in the next round of EBAs of a provision which she promised in black and white would be included. The Chief Minister promised that in the next round of EBAs there would be a provision in the same terms as exist in the current EBAs in relation to voluntary redundancies. This is a clear case of the Chief Minister making a promise in an election campaign and then breaking it as soon as it suited her to do so. This Government has shown that it has no compunction about breaking election promises.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, you wanted something tabled, I think? Is that correct?

Mr Berry: The document is being prepared, Mr Speaker. I will come back to it in a moment.

MR SPEAKER: Very well.

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