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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 2683 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

The Government will not be supporting the legislation. We do not believe that enough work has been done on it. We do not believe that there has been enough analysis of it to gauge the true impact of it and whether this is the correct solution to the problem that Mr Berry is trying to solve. With that in mind, we will oppose the legislation.

MR CORBELL (11.23): Mr Speaker, the response from the Government this morning - we have just heard from the Minister for Urban Services - would have to be one of the most disappointing, patronising and superficial responses I have heard in this place to a significant piece of legislation. The Minister was on his feet for about seven or eight minutes and made three points over and over again. In doing so he demonstrated that he had not come up with any concrete arguments as to why the Assembly should not pass this piece of legislation. In fact, he resorted to the tactic of asking questions, but not providing any answers.

When debate on this Bill was adjourned in this place last week, the Government said that the reason for that was that they wanted to go away and do an industry impact assessment and assess a range of other issues that they felt they needed to assess. Clearly, we have not had anything come out of those deliberations that they said that they would have last week. They have not come to this place and said that they have looked at this and looked at that and they have found that the Bill is going to have a detrimental impact or that it is going to cost too much. They have not come up with any answers. All they have come up with is a range of questions. Why are they doing that, Mr Speaker? They are doing that because they want to delay this Bill; they want to delay it indefinitely.

We all know that a number of industry bodies in this town do not want this Bill to go ahead. They are opposed to this Bill. It is not that they have further questions about it and it is not that they want to have it looked at further; they are opposed to it and they want it stopped. All we had this morning was the Minister, the agent of those various bodies, standing up and saying, "There are too many questions unanswered to pass this Bill". We had nothing concrete from him; he had no definite arguments against it. All we had was delay, Mr Speaker.

I want to address some of the points that the Minister made in his speech to show what an absolute load of nonsense they are. The first relates to haste. Anyone would think that this Bill had been introduced last week. But when was this Bill introduced by Mr Berry? It was introduced on 30 June - two months ago. Prior to that an exposure draft was circulated to industry bodies and other interested parties. Mr Berry has gone out of his way to consult with various people affected by this legislation, employees and employers. There can certainly be no suggestion of haste, Mr Speaker. In fact, we had the whole of the lengthy winter recess to deal with this piece of legislation.

The Minister raised a point about administration costs. He said, "There may be administration costs here and they may be quite extensive and may impact on employers. That is another reason why we cannot support this Bill today". What assessment has he made of the administration costs? I ask the Government now: Have you made an assessment of the costs? If you are so concerned about it, surely you have

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