Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2094 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
What an absolute untruth! I have before me here a letter from Trevor Santi, the branch secretary of the Transport Workers Union, setting out a schedule of meetings held between the Transport Workers Union and ACTION management since the stop-work meeting on 8 September. When did they occur? They occurred on 10 September. You had not heard from them, Minister? They occurred on 14 September. You had not heard from them, Minister? They occurred on 16 September. You had not heard from them, Minister? They occurred on 21 September. You had not heard from them, Minister? They occurred yesterday, 22 September. You had not heard from them, Minister? Minister, you have quite clearly misled this Assembly, because this quite clearly shows - - -
Ms Carnell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. We have a tradition in this place. If there is any suggestion that a member of this place has misled the Assembly, then the member making that allegation should immediately move a substantive motion. If Mr Corbell wants to do that, he should do so immediately.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, let me explain. If you are going to make those allegations, it does require a substantive motion.
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I will not make those allegations at this stage.
Ms Carnell: Excuse me, Mr Speaker. Mr Corbell would need to withdraw any indication - - -
MR CORBELL: If you give me the opportunity, Chief Minister, I will do so.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, if you wish to make those allegations at any time, you will need to move a substantive motion. You have stated that the Minister misled the Assembly. Could I suggest that you withdraw at this point?
MR CORBELL: I withdraw the allegation that the Minister has misled the Assembly, although I think one of my colleagues will be dealing with this matter shortly. It is quite clear that, contrary to the advice which the Minister provided yesterday in this place that we are yet to hear from the TWU - his words, Mr Speaker, not my words, not the Labor Party's words but Minister Smyth's words - there were in fact five formal meetings between the Transport Workers Union and the Government, represented by ACTION management, after the stop-work meeting. Once again we have seen revealed the complicity of this Government and the complete lack of sincerity of this Government when it comes to negotiating in good faith on industrial relations issues.
Quite clearly, the motion put forward by my colleague Mr Hargreaves and the motion put forward by Ms Tucker call for one very simple thing, and that is for the Government to negotiate in good faith. Instead of attempting to provoke an industrial dispute and instead of deliberately attempting to force drivers to take the buses off the road and cause antagonism towards the union, they should have been sitting down at the industrial relations bargaining table and continuing to work it out.