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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1410 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

Mr Speaker, talk about VETA. The authority shall consist of the following members: A chairperson, right, nominated by the Government. Two persons appointed after consultation with the Trades and Labour Council to represent the interests of employees, not just employees in the construction industry but employees across a wide selection of callings, not guaranteed to be from the construction industry. Two persons appointed after consultation with employer organisations to represent the interests of employers, one only of whom shall be appointed to represent the interests of public sector employers. So one has to come from the industry broadly, not the construction industry. The director of the Canberra Institute of Technology, who is responsible for training across a wide range of training areas which the institute has to deal with. A person appointed to represent the interests of private employers of vocational education and training. A person who, in the opinion of the Minister, is of good standing in the community. A person appointed after consultation with Joint Industry Training Council to represent the interests of industry training advisory boards, not just the construction industry. A person appointed to represent the interests of the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Association, not from the construction industry. The chief executive.

Mr Speaker, that shows the hollowness of the Chief Minister's argument. We heard her, the Treasurer, give us a little lecture on how you could not expend money this way because we had criticised what she had done at Bruce Stadium. This will be a motion of the Assembly. That is the difference. Bruce Stadium was not a motion of this Assembly. We did not vote in this Assembly to spend $20m or $30m, or to borrow it. We never voted for that. This will be a motion of this Assembly which requires the collection of a levy which the Government has to take into account in its budgeting processes.

The budget has not been passed, Mr Speaker, and it is up to the Government to structure its budget to take account of laws which are passed in this Assembly. So do not give us that rot. For the Chief Minister to wander in here and take the line she took in respect of this demonstrates again that she will do anything to put an argument, and it does not have to have anything to do with the facts.

Mr Speaker, this is sensible legislation which is about restoring training in the construction industry where a vacuum has been created because of inaction by these people opposite. An expectation was built up with the industry and workers in the industry by this Government, with the circulation of an exposure draft by the industry which was generally accepted, despite the arguments of Mr Smyth. The fact is that the industry generally accepted it. Even the HIA, though their national position is against these sorts of things, argue that if it gets up they want to be in. I have taken that into account, and they will be in so that they can be in there helping us with the management of construction industry training in the ACT. So do not give us any of that rot, and, for heaven's sake, next time you come down here read the legislation first.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (5.42): Mr Speaker, I want to respond to the comments made by Mr Berry in respect of appropriation. The point needs to be made that the Bill before the Assembly at the moment is not appropriating any money. It is requiring the spending of money. It is not appropriating the source of that money from anywhere.

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