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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 3388 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

That is not the case this time. The legal advice is quite clear that subsection 187AA(1)(d) of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 prohibits an employer from making a payment to an employee in relation to a period when the employee was engaged in industrial action. There is also a provision which prevents an employee from accepting payment from an employer for times when they were not doing their full job. It is that simple.

I would urge Ms Tucker to look at the motion. It says nothing about firefighters or nurses or anybody else. This is about a request for the Government to do something that we have categorical legal advice is unlawful.

Taking into account the hand on heart approach that Mr Berry and others took with regard to the Financial Management Act when I suppose officers in a particular department may have contravened the Financial Management Act unknowingly, that was a capital offence. It was a hanging offence for a government unknowingly to contravene an administrative act, or possibly to contravene an administrative act. Now we have a situation where those opposite are directing the Government to break legislation that is law here in the ACT. The level of hypocrisy, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, is quite stunning. It is just that Mr Berry does not like this law; so we only obey laws that we like if we take Mr Berry's approach.

Mr Berry: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker - - -

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! What is the problem, Mr Berry? Are you taking a point of order?

Mr Berry: As a matter of fact I am.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Well, would you address the point of order, sir?

Mr Berry: Well, I certainly will as soon as - - -

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

Mr Berry: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to raise this point of order. I think the former Speaker has ruled allegations of hypocrisy out of order, and I think the Chief Minister ought to withdraw that.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MS CARNELL: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, the ruling in the past has been that you could not say that a member was hypocritical, but you could say that actions, general actions in this place, were hypocritical. I think that is a fair assessment.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: As I understand it, you are correct.

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