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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2110 ..

MR BERRY (4.37): Mr Speaker, I am a bit disappointed. I expected that the Government would take this approach. I am disappointed in Mr Osborne's approach to this whole matter. What he has indicated he will support is the sword of Damocles being held over ACTION drivers and their families throughout this negotiation process. Whilst he said on the one hand that he would - - -

Mr Moore: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. This is about relevance. This is about whether we divide the question or not. It is not about what Mr Osborne can or cannot do.

MR SPEAKER: That is the question before the house.

MR BERRY: Indeed, but Mr Osborne spoke at length on this.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Osborne spoke in support of the division of the motion and he was explaining why.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I am responding to what Mr Osborne said.

MR SPEAKER: You may respond in terms of why you do not believe it should be divided or why you do believe it should be divided.

MR BERRY: Mr Osborne made a few comments about drivers and their families and how they were distressed by this. He says he will vote against paragraph (4). He indicated that in his speech, which was allowed and which nobody protested about. I merely respond by saying it is a great shame that he has indicated that he will vote that way. We will not be resisting the division of this question. By supporting the Government he supports the sword of Damocles being held over those families which he expressed some concern about.

I ask him to reconsider that position. It is not only the drivers who have to be considered. As he rightly says, families have to be considered as well in the scheme of things. They ought not be put under this sort of pressure while negotiations are taking place in the industrial context in relation to wages and working conditions for drivers. They ought not have over their heads the knowledge that the Government is moving towards tender and expressions of interest in the course of those industrial negotiations. It is an extremely ominous set of circumstances which is outside the normal negotiating process, and it should not be supported by Mr Osborne or Mr Rugendyke. This is an unfair process. For them to support it would be just plain unfair to the families of those drivers who have been put under pressure.

This was designed to put drivers under pressure. The Government expressed no feelings for the families of the drivers. I hope that in these circumstances the Independent members of this place will prevent the Government from exploiting that weakness in drivers. Drivers will do anything to help their families, the same as any other working-class person. This tactic ought not be allowed by Mr Osborne and Mr Rugendyke. It is intended to put more pressure on drivers in the industrial process and it should not be allowed.

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