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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 3400 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

arises - "industrial action", I think, is the phrase - and that removes our flexibility, in that respect the legislation is quite inconvenient to the Government and I have to say I would be happier if it was not there in those terms.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, let us get away from this rhetoric that we have been using in this debate, or some of us have been using in this debate, that the Government is basically out to smash the workers and to deprive them of the money. We want to be able to keep the debate on the level of being able to keep talking with our employees, but at some point it becomes impossible to avoid conflict. We want to avoid getting to that stage if we can, at least on most occasions.

Our argument in this debate is that Mr Berry's observations in this debate have given rise to a doubt about whether or not the Government has legally been able to make payments in the past. The Government, as a result of Mr Berry's arguments, will have to go back and examine whether we have made those payments legally.

Mr Berry: You can't blame me, Gary.

MR HUMPHRIES: Well, you have put up a motion that we have to start being consistent; that we have to adopt the same policy with respect to all workers in the ACT.

Mr Berry: No, no. I have been Gary-ed. Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, that was untrue.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Excuse me, Mr Berry. Are you raising a point of order?

Mr Berry: Yes, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Well, do it in the appropriate manner, sir. What is your point of order?

Mr Berry: Well, I have just been Gary-ed, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. He said something that was just untrue. I never said that they had to apply the same standards that they have applied for bursars to nurses and firefighters. I said that they should apply the same standard to bursars as they apply to nurses and firefighters.

MR HUMPHRIES: I did not mention nurses.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order, Mr Berry. Resume your seat. Attorney-General, address your remarks to the chair, sir.

MR HUMPHRIES: I did not mention nurses, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. I mentioned consistency, which is what his amendment does. It reads:

... "adopt the same policy of wages payment for bursars as applies to other ACT Government employees engaged in industrial disruption...

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