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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 869 ..


Government Vehicle Fleet - Natural Gas Trial

MR SMYTH: I have some further information for Ms Tucker in answer to her question during question time. Apparently, the difficulties regarding the conversion of the vehicles to natural gas have been resolved, and it is expected that as vehicles that are suitable for conversion come up for replacement in the City Rangers Office they will be replaced between June 1999 and November 1999.

Department of Health and Community Care - Redundancies

MR MOORE: In question time Mr Berry raised a question on voluntary redundancies which the Chief Minister answered. In her answer the Chief Minister referred to advice, through me, that a letter on voluntary redundancies had not been circulated to members of the department. Towards the end of question time Mr Berry tabled a letter that purported to be such a letter. Indeed, it was not, Mr Berry. You may be tempted to apologise to the Assembly. The letter that you tabled has no signature, you will note. In fact, it was a draft letter that had been circulated to unions as part of a consultation process considering voluntary redundancies. We normally wait for voluntary redundancies. The letter you tabled had not been circulated to the department. It was part of that consultation process. It illustrates how difficult it is sometimes to run consultation processes. Which comes first - the chicken or the egg? The department was attempting to do the right thing in circulating a possible letter to unions which then winds up in the chamber purporting to be a letter circulated.

Mr Speaker, I take this opportunity to reiterate the Chief Minister's comment that targeted redundancies are certainly a part of a possible approach by this Government in certain stages. With regard to the Department of Health, I have no problem with appropriate targeted redundancies. Indeed, I have spoken to the chief executive officer at the Canberra Hospital, as well as to the Department of Health, and I expect that the hospital will possibly be offering a significant number, although they will follow a consultation process as well.

Mr Berry: But these are not targeted; these are anybody. You just throw it open.

MR MOORE: Mr Berry interjects that these are just anybody's thrown out. No, Mr Berry. You should have read the letter that was in front of you. You would see these are not anybody's just thrown out. The broad expression of interest is put out as part of our normal - - -

Mr Berry: That is not targeted.

MR MOORE: As part of our approach, we first of all ask for expressions of interest. The draft letter was very clear and emphasised again and again that there will be a very small number of voluntary redundancies within the Department of Health and that they will be designed specifically to suit the department. Allow me to quote:

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