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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 2686 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

I recommend that every member read it. I have a copy and I am happy to lend it. It gives a very good insight into the experience of women working in this area. The project was an attempt to address the huge barrier that exists for non-English speaking people as to their ability to understand their rights, let alone demand them.

I understand that many cleaners working in the ACT do not accrue 10 years' service with the same employer and have been cheated of long service leave although they have worked in the industry for the required 10 years. That is largely due to businesses being sold and competition between contractors for various jobs. I believe that a similar long service leave scheme in the building industry runs nationwide. As I have said, the people working in this industry are often vulnerable and not industrially strong. They are, as I have said, often women, migrants and part-time workers. Under the brave new world of Liberal Party industrial relations, this group is not well supported and will be even less so with Reith's new initiatives.

In the spirit of equity for all workers and in supporting a group of workers that have been vulnerable, I am very pleased to be able to support Mr Berry's Bill. Looking at the matter now, I realise that we should be ashamed of the fact that it has not happened before. I will conclude with two short statements from the book Everyone needs cleaners eh. I think they say it clearly. The first one is called "Fat Chance", and says, "What chance have they got? Bugger all". The second is called "Migrants" and is very short as well. It says, "They think migrants - they don't care". This legislation shows that we do care.

MR KAINE (11.37): I will be brief because I agree with much of the debate that has taken place already. I have had put to me a couple of questions which I could not answer and I have not had an opportunity to take them up with Mr Berry, but I will throw them into the debate. Perhaps in summing up Mr Berry will be able to answer them. I will not put in all the questions that have been put to me. The first one is: How was the 2 per cent levy determined? Is it actuarially based, is there some other basis for it or is it just an arbitrary figure? Secondly, who will manage these funds? What are the management arrangements and what are the provisions for the investment of these funds? How will they be invested and managed? What would happen to the funds set aside for an employee if the employee leaves the industry with no entitlement to long service leave? Are those funds returnable to the employer?

It is put to me that the formula appears complex and funds 111/2 weeks leave and not 10 weeks, as intended. I do not know whether that is a fact, but it has been put to me that it is. Mr Berry may have a look at that. They are fair questions that have crossed the minds of some people and they are a bit worried about those aspects. I just put them on the table. Perhaps Mr Berry will deal with them in his concluding remarks.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (11.39): Mr Speaker, I would like to speak about this Bill from a business and jobs perspective. I assume that even the members of this Assembly who are not too interested in business would be pretty interested in jobs. I would also like to address the issue of consultation, something that is spoken about long and extraordinarily boringly at times in this place. I would also like to address the issue of timeframes, because Mr Corbell just said that this Bill had been on the table literally for ages.

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