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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 3353 ..

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (11.33): Mr Speaker, I rise to oppose this motion of Mr Berry's. I have to say, even if this motion were to pass the Assembly, as the Government, we would have no choice but to refuse to implement it anyway.

Mr Berry: That is rubbish; you are doing it already.

MR MOORE: That is my position, Mr Berry. I want to start first of all with Mr Berry's approach to industrial relations. He certainly knows and understands the legislation. He has been an Industrial Relations Minister, or shadow Minister, for a little longer than 10 years, I believe, and was involved in industrial relations long before that. But most importantly, I would like to take Mr Berry back to the time when he was Health Minister and there was a significant dispute with the doctors. Mr Berry, I would like you to put on record whether or not you docked the pay of the doctors when they were out on strike. When the doctors refused to work, did you dock their pay?

When you were Health Minister, Mr Berry, you had a dispute, not just with doctors, but you had quite a long-running dispute with the nurses. When those nurses were on strike, did you dock their pay?

Mr Berry: The bursars were not on strike.

MR MOORE: You did dock their pay and you and I know it; just the same as when the nurses were on strike in the recent dispute, I spoke to the management of the Canberra Hospital and I said, "I hope you are going to dock their pay when they go on strike". As a manager you would have no choice, otherwise there is no disincentive for people to go on strike. Now, of course all of us want to avoid a strike situation. Nobody enjoys it, and nobody believes it is appropriate. But it is a most inappropriate thing for this Assembly to dictate industrial relations, other than in legislation.

Mr Berry: We cannot do that.

MR MOORE: Mr Berry correctly says, "But we can't do that". Yes, you can, provided it is consistent with the Federal legislation.

Mr Berry: Well, why would you want to do that?

MR MOORE: Mr Berry, what we have to do is obey the law. That is what we do. Nobody here deliberately or negligently disobeys the law. We avoid doing that. Indeed, the two police officers who sit here next to us would not support a motion that would have us act in opposition to a Federal law. As a legislature, if we do not respect the law of the Federal Parliament, and some of those laws are very unpalatable, then how can we expect to make laws here, and have people within the ACT obey the laws that we pass? We have a greater responsibility than most people to ensure that we obey the law.

Now, there are laws that the Federal Parliament passes that I hate - their overriding of our euthanasia law, for example. I know a number of people here support it, but I also recall that unanimously, bar Mr Osborne, we felt they ought not do it. But they did do it. When they did it, we said, "That's the law and therefore we will abide by it". On that

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