Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1407 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

Mr Speaker, what the Minister proposes is an organisation which could in some circumstances not have anybody at all from the construction industry involved in it, and that is to be avoided. It would be the worst option for the management of this levy. I heard Mr Stefaniak referring to the more efficient arrangement that might prevail, but there is also an issue of quality here and commitment from the industry. You could not possibly put in charge an organisation which in some circumstances might end up with no-one at all from the construction industry.

Under the proposal which is in the Bill it is very clear that all of the representatives bar one have to come from the industry. VETA has no similar requirements as far as the construction industry is concerned. In fact, the public sector is represented on VETA, and I cannot for the life of me see what interest they would have in a Construction Industry Training Levy Bill for the private sector.

Mr Smyth: Surely it is about training.

Mr Stefaniak: They are going to fund a fair bit of it.

MR BERRY: It is for the public sector. That person might not necessarily be from the construction industry either and, might I say, the major players that have always been associated with this issue are strenuously opposed to that approach. Even the HIA would be opposed to VETA managing the matter, I would argue. The MBA are definitely opposed to it, violently opposed to it, because they want to have a say in the management of the levy and the fund which is collected from their members, the same as workers involved in the industry want to have a say in the way that training is delivered and the quality of the training that is delivered to their members. It makes a lot of sense. What the Minister is proposing makes no sense in relation to the appointment of VETA to manage this board.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (5.30): Mr Speaker, I find absolutely remarkable Mr Berry's comment that somehow VETA does not have what it takes to run what is a vocational education program, apprenticeship and traineeship. That is what they do. Having people from a wide range of different backgrounds in business and in the public sector is the whole basis of balance in this area.

In what other areas would this Assembly suggest that people with maybe vested interests in various parts, and maybe in a very narrow part of a particular industry, should make the decisions with regard to what training looks like, where people might go, or where they might be trained in the future? Would we accept a scenario, Mr Speaker, when we look at, say, IT training in our school to industry program that we only deal with IBM? That we put IBM on the committee and IBM decide? I am just making a comment. Yes, it is important to have industry input, but this industry is somewhat narrow, not broad, and it is important to remember that.

If the industry as a whole supported this approach, the Government would support it too, and that has always been our position; but that is not the case. The industry as a whole is not represented on the body Mr Berry has put forward in this legislation. It is a part of the industry. VETA, though, does run training programs.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .