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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 746 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

have for their families, for their spouses and for their own futures. Yet this government seems to want to be able to fudge it around the edges so that they can say, "Well, we will do our best to make sure there are no involuntary redundancies, but we cannot guarantee it."

Mr Speaker, in light of the so-called very generous packages that the government is prepared to offer, packages which quite frankly are a joke, and in light of the already clearly inadequate superannuation entitlements that in some instances these people will receive, the very least that this Assembly can do is say to the government, "No involuntary redundancies." That is the purpose of the motion today, and I urge members to support it.

MR RUGENDYKE (11.41): Mr Speaker, I am happy to support this motion. I am happy to support it because it does what I think the government has said it will do-that there will be no involuntary redundancies. I note that Mr Osborne has drawn our attention to a big bailout provision that is in the government's documents. I think the motion ought to be supported because the government itself seems to support it. The government appears to support the motion because Mr Smyth has circulated an amendment to it, and I will assess that later.

Mr Speaker, I have sympathy with the forestry workers. In fact, my dearly departed father-in-law was a forestry worker who may well have worked with our chainsaw wielding colleague over here. In about 1957 or 1958 his family came to the ACT and my wife started her life here as about a six or seven-year-old in the Stromlo forestry settlement. So, Mr Speaker, I do have a great sympathy for these forestry workers. I have known some of them over the years through my association with my father-in-law, obviously.

It is clearly the intent of the speakers in this debate that the onus is on government not to discard these workers, not simply to allow them to disappear through some departure lounge to a retirement village. The clear intent of members in this chamber is that the onus is on government to find them a job, particularly at the later stages of their working careers at ages of 59, et cetera. It is most important that the government does find them a job.

Mr Speaker, the Treasurer has proudly announced $4.6 million worth of Commonwealth funding that apparently is to come before the various committees. Surely some of that money can be used to find 20 jobs. I do not think it will be difficult.

As well as the onus on government to find these workers a job, I think there is also an onus on the workers to accept, as Mr Kaine says, the lack of jobs in forestry, given that huge machinery now fells and strips trees, as he has described. The onus is on the workers not simply to sulk because they no longer will be able to wield an axe or a chainsaw, but to respond to reasonable offers of training and job diversification. It is the nature of the work force that people do need to adapt and to consider other options in their working life.

Mr Speaker, I turn now to the amendment that Mr Smyth has circulated. I think he will tell us that this is part of the proper process. I will consider it and I will listen to the debate when that comes about. I think that Mr Smyth, firstly, needs to be given a clear

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