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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1364 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

mismanagement of the former ACT ALP Government must have been very, very, very bad, Mr Speaker, to sack 1,000 people, to use Mr Berry's own words. It must have been very bad mismanagement, Mr Berry.

Mr Speaker, in defence of the former Chief Minister, Rosemary Follett, that certainly was not her view at that time. Indeed, her view, and that of the Labor Government on voluntary redundancies at the time, seems to differ sharply from Mr Stanhope's and that of Mr Berry, at least in this day and age. I think it is worth having a look at a couple of quotes from Ms Follett on voluntary redundancy. On 15 June 1994 she told the Assembly:

It remains my view that continuing to make allowance for voluntary redundancies makes good sense.

That is the view of the Labor Party, Mr Speaker. But wait, there is more. On the question of voluntary redundancies, Ms Follett went on to say:

This is an area where I believe that making this provision is a prudent form of budget management.

That is a prudent form of budget management. They were Labor's words, Mr Speaker, not mine. Compare this comment with those of Mr Stanhope and Mr Berry over the last few days.

To finish answering this question, I might share with the Assembly one final twist in this whole story which I think puts the Labor Party's current position on redundancies somewhere between hilarious and farcical. I am sure that Mr Humphries and Mr Moore will remember that back in 1993-94 when the former Labor Government offered redundancies totalling $17m in one year they were attacked by their colleagues in the Trades and Labour Council. Does anyone remember who Rosemary Follett sent to negotiate with the Trades and Labour Council - in other words, to argue the case for voluntary redundancies with the Trades and Labour Council?

Mr Hird: It wouldn't have been Wayne.

MS CARNELL: You guessed. It was Mr Berry. He was out there negotiating on behalf of the Government, convincing the Trades and Labour Council it was a good idea to have voluntary redundancies. Mr Speaker, I suppose the irony is not lost on everybody in this chamber, but maybe it is lost on poor old Wayne.

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Mr Hird?

MR HIRD: Yes. On all the questions I have asked in this chamber, there has never been silence from the Opposition. This is the first time, and I congratulate them. They might be learning something, Mr Speaker.

Mr Berry: We are busy reading these letters. Very interesting.

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