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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2459 ..

Mr Stanhope: How much is that?

MR HUMPHRIES: I do not have a dollar figure. The dollar figure is not referred to in this letter, but that is the figure that is referred to.

Mr Mackay pointed out that the decision to renegotiate those contracts was made by him as chief executive officer, without consultation with the Chief Minister, because, in his view, it was a relatively small adjustment to existing contractual arrangements and because discussions in relation to the contracts were well advanced at the time that the caretaker provisions were imposed on or about 14 July this year. Mr Speaker, he also pointed out, in relation to those contracts, that the staff who have benefited from the increased contracts are not in the same position as staff who are subject to the 12-month employment guarantee. Those staff, as the guarantee implies, are unable to be retrenched for a period of at least 12 months. The executives on these contracts could be retrenched, for argument's sake, the day after a private owner may acquire ownership of ACTEW. Mr Speaker, these increases, I am told, were, on average, less than 10 per cent of their existing salary. Again, I do not know what the dollar figure is, but, on average, they were less than 10 per cent.

Mr Speaker, I do not rise in this place to defend the granting of extensions to those contracts. I think that in the present circumstances the imagery could be seen as unfortunate, with other workers not receiving increases. I am doubtful that there would have been an immediate response in favour of such a proposal had there been consultation with the ACT Government. But, nonetheless, Mr Speaker, that decision was made without consultation with the Government and the information contained in Mr Mackay's letter sets out the circumstances of it.

MR QUINLAN: I ask a supplementary question. Can the Acting Chief Minister advise whether there are any other valuable employees at ACTEW who have enjoyed any significant, up to 10 per cent, salary increases in the interests of maintaining the value of the asset? I think that is an assertion ascribed to you in today's local newspaper.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of any other workers who either are going to get or have received increases. I do not think the terms of the caretaker arrangements we have asked ACTEW to observe prevent some wage increases, but they do certainly require ACTEW to consult with the Government on things like EBA negotiations which cover, I would think, most of the workers of ACTEW. As I say, I am not aware of any increases to be granted or that have been granted to workers at ACTEW.

Disability Services Advisory Committee

MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to the Minister for Health and Community Care, Mr Moore. Minister, the Disability Services Advisory Committee is a body which gives the disabled community a voice to your department. At the end of the recently completed financial year, the former chairman, Mr Ian Trewhella, completed his term. Can you advise the Assembly who the new chairman is and whether the committee has met since the start of the current financial year?

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