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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 866 ..

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, I have just been advised in papers to me that the Calvary nursing services agreement has been varied and extended until 27 March 2003, with the full support of the Health Services Union and the Australian Nursing Federation. In a statement to the commissioner, apparently a Mr Ron Johnson, an organiser with the Australian Nursing Federation, commended Calvary for its vision in including in the variation the union secondment provision. I think that it highlights the progress we have made more than anything that 83 per cent of the nurses at Calvary have accepted this offer.

Members are aware, of course, that the offer was made in December, a package of just over $20 million, and that 83 per cent of the Calvary nurses now have got their way. It is interesting that in the advertisement that appeared in the paper on the weekend Calvary Hospital has put the slogan "Enjoy the best pay and conditions in the ACT". That shows extraordinary progress. More importantly, I suppose, they could be putting, "Enjoy the best pay and conditions in Australia." It certainly looks like that will remain for some time.

I think it is well known to members that staff of the Canberra Hospital and community care are now set to have no access to this offer. I have to say that that is a great disappointment to me, because I have put a huge amount of work and my staff have put a huge amount of work into making sure that we had an offer that we hoped would be accepted. Whilst we have had a great deal of pleasure in seeing it accepted at Calvary, it has been a huge disappointment for us here.

What has become clear, and is even more disappointing, is that the real reason, the underlying reason, that the nurses at the Canberra Hospital are missing out on this offer has more to do with the political aspirations within the Australian Nursing Federation in the use of their position to seek some political advantage, perhaps for the Labor Party or perhaps for their own candidates that they have announced they will run.

I warned about the politicisation of the process. One of the reasons I have stayed right out of it as far as possible is that I did not want to see that happen. Unfortunately, it is sad but it is true. The success at Calvary, it seems, actually had the opposite effect from what we would have expected on the union leadership. The ANF, of course, is led by Colleen Duff. She is also currently the president of the ACT Trades and Labour Council, and I must say that I feel-

Mr Corbell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. You made reference earlier to standing order 117 (d). I think that you should observe the minister's answer in relation to his approach to this matter also.

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, speaking to the point of order: the reason I mentioned Ms Duff is that I think that no person who has followed this debate has not heard Ms Duff speaking very publicly on the issue-on television a couple of times a week and on radio very regularly. Normally, I do not use names; but, Mr Speaker, I am using parliamentary privilege to suggest an improper motive because I feel that Ms Duff has confused her role as head of the federation-

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