Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1027 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
The Bill also inserts a new provision requiring TOCs to apply equal employment opportunity principles to their employment practices. These principles are already included in the Public Sector Management Act covering the ACT Public Service but do not formally apply to the TOCs. This amendment corrects that anomaly.
The Bill does not override the TOC amendment Bill introduced by Ted Quinlan and recently passed by the Assembly, which requires the Government to consult with the relevant Assembly committee on appointments to boards. I do not think that my Bill is in conflict with what Mr Quinlan proposed. In fact, it will be quite complementary. Under my Bill, Mr Quinlan's provision will still apply to directors apart from the defined directors.
I do not believe that just because a government corporation has to be run on a commercial basis it can ignore its broader social obligations to the community, who ultimately owns the corporation through its elected members. I accept that it is a difficult task to balance competing objectives for corporations, but that does not mean that we should not try.
Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries ) adjourned.
DANGEROUS GOODS (AMENDMENT) BILL 1999]
Debate resumed from 24 March 1999, on motion by Mr Berry:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
MR SPEAKER: Is it the wish of the Assembly to debate this order of the day concurrently with the Dangerous Goods (Amendment) Bill 1999? There being no objection, that course will be followed. I remind members that in debating order of the day No. 1 they may also address their remarks to order of the day No. 2.
MR OSBORNE (10.40): This has been a very interesting debate for me personally. This is a piece of legislation I have given much thought to. The legislation is in response to one of the blackest days in the history of this city, the day of the hospital implosion. Quite clearly, all of us can recall the feelings we had on that day when the news came through about the death of Katie Bender.
It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that the main issue in this whole debate is the retrospective nature of what Mr Berry is proposing. I think in most cases retrospectivity is black and white. I do not think that any legislature would ever think of making illegal something that was once legal in the past. In this case I think it is a different matter. We are not