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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 737 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

least have the dignity of a job, rather than being thrown onto the unemployment scrap-heap.

That does require some responsibility from the people involved and it requires some assistance from the unions. Instead of getting into confrontations with the employers, they have to be prepared to work with the employers-in this case the ACT government-to find solutions. The employees themselves have to accept that the world is changing. The fact that their jobs are becoming redundant does not mean that they do not have a place in the work force or in society, but they do have to be a bit flexible and be prepared to take on training, where necessary, to equip them to move into some other form of employment.

As long as the government accepts its responsibilities in that regard, the trade unions associated with this industry accept their responsibilities to ensure a reasonable transition and the workers themselves recognise that their job cannot remain forever and there is no guarantee that they will, I think that amicable solutions can be found and there should not be need for real concern on the part of the individuals involved. They should feel confident that they do have a future and that the government-their employer-will assist them in achieving that.

I would like to get something from the government that reinforces that notion in the minds of the people concerned, because they must be feeling very insecure at the moment and they are entitled to some assurance of what the future holds for them. I do not believe that the problem is insurmountable. It is a function of the changing world that we live in and we all have to work to make sure that we get an appropriate solution.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (11.07): I agree with Mr Kaine that the nature of the workplace has changed very dramatically in recent years. The nature of the responsibility of governments as employers has also changed in that time. We would be doing our community a grave disservice if were to attempt to preserve the patterns and structures of work in this community just as they were, say, 10 years ago, when we know that other workplaces are changing around us and we have an obligation to ensure that ours are able to offer a contemporary and appropriate avenue of work to those employed in the ACT public service.

Mr Speaker, the nature of work in the ACT, elsewhere in Australia and the world may have changed, but Mr Berry's rhetoric has not. Mr Berry, as ever, sees this matter in class warfare terms. It is the vested interests of power and money against the poor, exploited, downtrodden worker.

Mr Berry: You do not like it, Gary, but it is true.


: On the contrary, Mr Berry. I love to hear you say that. When I was going to university 20 years ago, the radicals at the university used to use that kind of language all the time. They were arguing for class struggle, revolution and things like that. It is comforting to know that, with the Soviet Union going and the world changing as much as it is, there are still people like you, fossils like you, who are prepared to put on the record their belief in these 1950s industrial relations notions. Mr Berry, I think you do the Labor Party a great service every time you go out into the community and use

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