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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 2693 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

nature hits the table, it does not take longer than a couple of hours or a day to receive a phone call, fax or letter or to have someone trying to get in to see me, so I am a bit intrigued as to why all of a sudden, from what we have heard from the Government, it is the end of the world as we know it.

I intend to support the Bill. There are a number of issues in relation to existing contracts on which Mr Kaine and I have some questions. I understand that the Government wishes to send the Bill off to the Urban Services Committee before it is agreed to in principle, but I think that it is quite clear that a majority of this Assembly intends to support the legislation. Perhaps we need to agree to it in principle and look at it in detail later. I understand that the Government wishes to send it to the Urban Services Committee. I have no problem with that. Perhaps some of the questions that have been raised by the Government can be looked at there.

I do not wish it to be a long inquiry because I think it is very clear that all bar the Government intend to support this legislation, perhaps with some minute finetuning. People are claiming that they have not had time to consider the Bill and they have not been consulted. I think that is a furphy. It has been on the table for two months. There was a mad rush last week by different people to come into my office. I tend to give people the opportunity to put their case, but there was deafening silence from those in the industry. I have contact with different people. I have seen different people from the industry at football matches. I actually said hello to one of them last weekend and it was not raised. From my perspective, I did not think that there was a problem.

Clearly, the industry is panicking. There will be a cost, but I think that the legislation is worth supporting. I will be supporting it in principle, but I have no problem with its going off to the Urban Services Committee prior to the detail stage. I can see that the members of the Urban Services Committee are very pleased that I am loading more work onto them! I think that there are a number of points that need to be finetuned there, but I intend to support the legislation at the end of that process. I think that some of the arguments being put up about consultation and timing are quite poor.

MR BERRY (12.04), in reply: Mr Speaker, I should respond first of all to the saintly performance of the Chief Minister on the issue of consultation. It was just a little while ago that we were asking for contracts about the Bruce Stadium project and a business plan for the V8 supercar race and we could not get hold of them. How long did this chamber have to consider the V8 supercar race proposal? She should not be too saintly about this matter because, on the basis of those performances, her halo is a wee bit crooked.

Mr Speaker, I will deal with some of the issues that the Chief Minister raised. She seemed to be saying that it would be an impost on employers to stop them exploiting their employees and that it would cost business more; if this sort of legislation were to stop employers exploiting employees or manipulating the system, she would be perfectly happy to support it and the very small increase in costs which would flow as a result. Mr Speaker, this legislation is not about catching cheats. There is already provision in the Long Service Leave Act to catch cheats. I would love it if the Chief Minister paid attention because she desperately wanted answers to questions just a short time ago.

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