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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3276 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

1. Despite your assurances of job guarantees, fully retained entitlements and a three-year enterprise agreement, staff morale has seriously declined;

2. There is increasing evidence that customer confidence is also declining quite rapidly; and

3. There are an increasing number of necessary long term strategic decisions that have been put on hold.

I think all members would like to see this issue decided one way or the other sooner rather than later. Like Mr Kaine, I reserve the right to seek some more time in February if we need it, but I am hopeful that we can have a look at all the different reports that have come in and come up with something sensible.

Mr Quinlan: Ask the staff why their morale is low.

MR OSBORNE: My staff?

Mr Quinlan: No, the staff mentioned in that letter. Ask them why.

MR OSBORNE: I can imagine why it is low, Mr Quinlan. They are worried about their jobs. I appreciate that. That is why I think we need to make a decision one way or the other sooner rather than later. If we need more time in February, I reserve the right to seek a longer period, but I am hopeful that we can put in the work over the next two months and have something to come back to the Assembly with. I think Mr Hargreaves made a valid point. It would be very hard to receive the report and on the same day vote on it. If we can get the work done, I hope that we can circulate the report a few days beforehand.

I have no problem with Mr Humphries' motion. I would like to correct what Mr Berry said. In negotiations with the Labor Party on this matter I was not aware of when in February the first sitting day was to be. I assumed it was earlier rather than later. I am on the committee. I will be involved in the workload. For the sake of the organisation, we need to put this to bed sooner rather than later. I will be voting against the stupid amendment and supporting Mr Humphries, with the right to seek some sort of extension if it is absolutely required.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (8.29): I think we have probably just about exhausted the topic, Mr Speaker. There are just a couple of things I would like to say briefly. One relates to the negotiations that were undertaken in relation to the motion that was passed just 10 or so days ago in relation to the Select Committee on the Territory's Superannuation Commitments. In my discussions with Mr Osborne and Mr Rugendyke it was always quite clear in my mind that the intention was that the committee report on the first sitting day in 1999, which, as Mr Humphries had very kindly circulated a sitting pattern for next year, I quite clearly knew was to be 16 February.

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