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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (8 August) . . Page.. 2560 ..

MR SPEAKER: Order! You have asked your question.

Mr Quinlan: I know I have.

MR SPEAKER: Then don't interject.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, we have taken a conservative approach to budgeting for the future. We have said that we are going to be cautious about the territory's money and not bank on returns coming back that we cannot be sure of receiving. That is the approach we had when you said our figures were rubbery and that our surpluses were not sustainable. That is what you said, Mr Quinlan, and I will produce it later at the end of question time so that you can hear what you said. The fact is that you cast doubt on those figures and now you are seeing the evidence that, if anything, the figures have been conservative and that the strength in our bottom line is such that we are going to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves and the territory and perhaps then some.

Australian workplace agreements

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister, Mr Humphries. In light of a statement by Mr Berry entitled "Workplace tension to ease under Labor", which refers to an agreement reached between the ACT Labor Party and the ACT TLC that a Labor government will not offer new AWAs to ACT government employees and will not extend existing AWAs once they have reached their nominal expiry date, can the Chief Minister advise the Assembly of how many AWAs are in place and what benefits they offer existing staff, and what category of staff are most likely to enter into AWAs?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I can give some advice to the Assembly about those AWAs. I have to say that at the present time there has been a very popular take-up of AWAs on the part of ACT-

Mr Berry: It is a condition of employment.

MR HUMPHRIES: No, it is not a condition of employment.

Mr Berry: They have to sign it.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Burke asked a question.

MR HUMPHRIES: AWAs are entirely voluntary. They are offered to employees in the ACT public service-

Mr Stanhope: If you want to work.

Mr Hargreaves: They are voluntary if you want the job.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Watch yourselves, gentlemen.

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