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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2650 ..


MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (5.21): Mr Speaker, pursuant to standing order 150, I move:

That orders of the day Nos 6, 7 and 8, Executive business relating to the ministerial statements on the Commonwealth's Year 2000 Information Disclosure Legislation and the Draft Drugs Education Policy Framework in ACT Government Schools respectively, and the Gaming Legislation Amendment Bill 1999 be postponed until the next day of sitting.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Debate resumed from 24 August 1999, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HARGREAVES (5.22): Mr Speaker, the Labor Party will be supporting this Bill. It is in two parts. It covers telecommunication workers, and trainees and school kids. The amendment regarding telecommunication workers will now require that telecommunication workers be licensed as electricians, which is good coverage. It will require telecommunication workers to complete an accredited training course to perform telecommunication cabling work. It is a cosmetic change that should have happened two years ago. In fact, the ACT is the last jurisdiction to amend its legislation. I am pleased to see that we are now doing it.

The second part of the Bill it provides a legal status for trainees and school students to perform electrical wiring work while undergoing an accredited training course. Three colleges have already begun this program. The students have undergone a six-week theory course and are awaiting the passage of this legislation so that they can undertake practical experience. The training experience is recognised by the CIT, and students will receive recognition of prior learning at CIT if they decide to further their studies, perhaps going into apprenticeships.

The Industry Training Board is halfway through a pilot which has 20 students currently involved. So far, the pilot has achieved positive results, with more students trying to access the program for next year. I understand that six of the people in that program have been offered longer-term jobs in their industry as they progress through their training. That is a credit to the Industry Training Board's devotion to these kids. The students, when they are working, are covered by enterprise bargaining agreements so , as far as I can determine, there is no discrimination against them because they are young people working. The legislation provides a future for many students who may not have had one, and it gives them direction and purpose. It can lead to a career in electronics, or they can become an electrician. It may open doors elsewhere also.

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