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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 745 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

I heard the protestations from the Chief Minister about how they will not be endeavouring to do that; that they really do not want to do that. Well, if you do not want to do that, support the motion, because that is what the motion simply asks you to do-no involuntary redundancies.

Do not come into this place and talk about how genuine you are, and then attempt to categorise this debate as some sort of outdated 1950s ideological class war debate, which is what you have done. Do not come into this place and say you are genuine about protecting the interests of these people, and that you will not really, hopefully, force them into involuntary redundancy when at the same time you offer them packages which in many respects are less than two years salary after, in some instances, 38 years of service. Is that just? To not guarantee that you will not sack them and then to offer them less than two years annual salary after periods of service in some instances going up to 38 years?

These people deserve better than that. They deserve better from a government which professes to say the pain is over and that there will be no more involuntary redundancies. This motion is about holding you lot to your commitment; nothing more, nothing less. It is not about binding ACT Forests to some process that will not mean they will not be able to be competitive. It is not about that at all. It is about doing the decent thing by people who have given good service to the territory.

Mr Speaker, I was shocked when I saw what some of the employees of ACT Forests were faced with as, to use the government's words, "a very generous package". Many of these workers in ACT Forests earn less than $30,000 per annum. That is considerably less than anyone else in this place. For this Chief Minister particularly to come into the Assembly and pontificate about class war when he is sitting on a salary of well over $100,000, and to say people on less than $30,000 per annum will get the equivalent of two years salary for 38 years of service, is, I think, a complete disgrace.

Look at the situation many of these workers are faced with in relation to their superannuation entitlements. In the instance quoted by Mr Berry, there will be an employee who, after 34 years of service, will only receive a pension, a superannuation entitlement, of $2,800 per year. That is also a disgrace.

For those reasons, members, we should be insisting that the government keep its commitment to no involuntary redundancies; no get-out clauses; no go direct to jail and collect $200.

Mr Humphries: We didn't say that.

MR CORBELL: Nothing like that. Keep your commitment and say, "No involuntary redundancies." No ifs, no buts; keep your commitment.

Mr Humphries: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. There was no such commitment made by the government.


CORBELL: Oh, sit down, Gary. You are debating the question. He is debating the question. The Chief Minister still thinks this is some cute debate where he can joke. We are talking about people's livelihoods. We are talking about the aspirations these people

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