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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 421 ..



letter that was going to go to the Minister. This is either incompetence on the part of the CPSU - you have to ask yourself why members of the staff at the BRC would want to be represented by a union that was so incompetent that it could not get around to communicating its requests for a meeting before it went public about not having had it - or, at worst, it is the union playing fairly grubby political games in the media, saying, "Let us claim that we have not had a meeting and raise the temperature", when in fact they have not asked for a meeting.

Mr Speaker, I can advise the Assembly that the department and the CPSU have been negotiating through a number of workplace reforms of the BRC. Those negotiations, like any other industrial negotiations, are a fairly drawn out affair. Issues have been discussed in the process of that. If the union had hoped that a demand to me to come in over the top of the managers of the BRC to get them to toe the CPSU line was going to succeed, then obviously they have forgotten that those days ended four years ago. If the CPSU wants to run an industrial campaign for increases in salary or wages or for improved conditions without any productivity improvements to pay for those improvements in their conditions, then they are sorely mistaken.

The fact is that there are many problems with the present remand centre. No-one has been more acutely aware of those than the present Government. The Government has put in train a process to deal with those problems for the first time in the ACT. The sorts of claims that have been made by the union do not help in that process, and I think it is better if we get down to the serious business of negotiating through the usual channels and processes an agreement which will deal with these problems in an appropriate way.

Rural Residential Development

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Urban Services. It relates to the discussion paper on rural residential development prepared by TBA Planners. I ask the Minister how he can now maintain that the discussion paper is independent and has not been massaged to suit the Government's position when the lead consultant at TBA Planners advised PALM in a facsimile last year:

Please find enclosed comments on a number of pages. Progressively the paper is being massaged - I can wear that given the governments position but I think Section 1.4 is a bit over the top. Most points are a repeat of 7.1 and are not the only issues which emerge from the paper, rather they are a collection of any point which is favourable to the governments point of view.

Minister, how can you claim this report is independent when the lead consultant himself is saying that it is not?

MR SMYTH: I can only assume that Mr Corbell thinks he has found a treasure-trove. There was an FOI request on rural residential development. There were some 5,000 folios in the files. We gave Mr Corbell access to all of them. He has picked up some 1,650 pages.

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