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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 3338 ..

MR BERRY: The glove puppet? I do not expect the Chamber of Commerce to support this. It was one of the things that were holding me up for a brief moment. I thought, "What will the Chamber of Commerce and Industry think about giving an extra benefit to workers no matter how well it has been justified?". I wondered for a moment whether I should seek their approval before I moved one inch on this. I thought that would be a waste of time because I do not think they would support it.

Ms Carnell: So you only consult with people who agree with you.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, there is an old saying: "No point in flogging a dead horse".

Mr Moore: Is that good consultation?

MR BERRY: We will have plenty of time for consultation. The Bill is relatively simple and - - -

Mr Stanhope: Very straightforward.

MR BERRY: It is very straightforward. It is consistent with government policy on a whole range of other areas where we have to line up with New South Wales. There will be ample time for the Chamber of Commerce to fully understand the legislation. They can come and see me if they have a very special argument that they want to put to me.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Peters will bring a bottle of champagne.

MR BERRY: I would be happy to receive from the chamber a magnum of champagne to celebrate, but I rather think that will not be the case. I know that workers who have put in a tough year in the ACT will welcome this very small measure. It is basically tokenism. It is a very small half-day holiday. What are you laughing at, Mr Speaker? Do you think this is funny?

MR SPEAKER: I am just listening to the debate, Mr Berry, with increasing amazement.

MR BERRY: Why? Will you be here on New Year's Eve, Mr Speaker? I am giving you a chance to have it off.

MR SPEAKER: I was wondering whether the Select Committee on the Workers' Compensation System could meet that afternoon.

MR BERRY: Well, you will not if this public holiday goes through.

MR SPEAKER: No, we could do it otherwise.

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