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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (16 November) . . Page.. 3536 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

The Commonwealth will have a new system for review of employment decisions but the provisions of the repealed Merit Protection Act will be retained through regulations to allow the old system to continue for Commonwealth cases on foot before 5 December 1999.

The Commonwealth has agreed to continue access for the A.C.T. for a further year. Some technical amendments to both the Public Sector Management Act and the Fire Brigade Administration Act are necessary to support the interim arrangements until 31 December 1999.

The approach in the Bill is to make the minimum changes necessary to retain meaningful links to the Merit Protection Commissioner and the existing review procedures. Necessary modifications to the Merit Protection Act may be made through management standards as required.

There is provision in the Bill for further modifications to be made to the Merit Protection Act as it applies to the A.C.T. These requirements may arise depending on the final form of the Commonwealth review and appeal arrangements. The full Commonwealth arrangements are not yet available.

Mr Speaker, the Fire Brigade Administration Act is linked to the Commonwealth Merit Protection Act only in relation promotion appeals.

The Bill proposes changes to the Fire Brigade Administration Act, which have the same intent and effect as those I have just explained in relation to the Public Sector Management Act. That is, the continuation of the existing promotion appeal arrangements for an interim period, ending no later than 1 December 2000.

.Mr Speaker, let me be quite clear that this is an interim arrangement and it will be necessary to make wider amendments to these Acts in future to put in place a longer term A.C.T. system for review of employment decisions. I expect to be able to introduce these amendments early in the new year.

Mr Speaker, I commend this Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Berry ) adjourned.

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