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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 428 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

allowed to advertise on the bottom of pay slips? The answer is no, and in those circumstances this motion should be rejected.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (5.19): The case that was put very well by my colleague has been completely ignored by the Chief Minister in his defence of what really is an outrageous decision by Mr Tonkin. It is a classic example of blatant union bashing. That is all it is and it cannot be characterised or described as anything else. Mr Humphries, in fact, makes the case out of his own mouth. The guideline that Mr Tonkin and Mr Humphries rely on is:

Potential non government advertisers, their products and their advertising material will be carefully vetted to ensure that the material is appropriate and there is no conflict with:

  • Government policies, programs or activities;

That is apparently the defence relied on by Mr Tonkin and supported by his Chief Minister, Mr Humphries. The advertisement proposed by the Australian Nursing Federation, which surprisingly Mr Humphries has just read into the record, states:

The Australian Nursing Federation ACT Branch vigorously represents ACT Nurses on industrial relations issues.

Thank goodness. It continues:

All non-union nurses are encouraged to contact ANF office ... for details on joining your union or alternatively making a contribution to our campaign.

At the moment, the issue that seems to have riled or concerned the government and Mr Tonkin is that the government has placed on the table a document as the basis for negotiations. The government is actively negotiating with the ANF new terms, new conditions, to apply at the Canberra Hospital and within the community sector. It is on the table. Yesterday we heard from the minister of health, Mr Moore, saying that he has applied a deadline of 19 March as the date for concluding negotiations on that document. So where is the conflict?

You have got a document on the table headed "draft for discussion", you have got a minister who has indicated that the deadline for discussions is 19 March, and you have got the head of the Chief Minister's Department insisting that because the ANF has decided that it wishes to negotiate on the document that has been provided to it by the government for the purposes of negotiation-that they should dare to even wish to negotiate-it should just fall over obsequiously and say, "We accept, we accept, we accept."

Mr Tonkin insists that there is contention between the ANF and the government. What is the matter of contention-the fact that the nurses want to negotiate? He says that it is a contentious position. According to the ACT government, it is a contention position for a union to negotiate on a draft document provided to them for the purposes of negotiation. It is absolutely outrageous that the chief executive of the Chief Minister's Department describes as contentious the fact that the ANF has the temerity to wish to negotiate on a negotiating draft. He is saying, "How absolutely contentious. How

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