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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3198 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

problem is not the one that has been suggested, she will revisit this issue. Well, it will be a bit late to do that when 50 people have lost their jobs.

This is a middle-class approach to workers' jobs-just forget about them; it is only 50 jobs. Those jobs are extremely important to those people. You just cannot ignore them like that, especially when we know that some evidence is coming to us about this issue. It may well be that the club industry has to face job losses in other areas as a result of this report, and we are prepared to face that if there is evidence that this needs to happen. But there is no evidence in this case and 50 people are going to lose their jobs because of somebody's gut feeling that this is a popular thing to do.

Mr Humphries: Here is the evidence.

MR BERRY: Mr Humphries waves bits of papers. There is going to be a report soon, within weeks according to ClubsACT. I have said that I personally support change where it is evidence based. But there is no evidence here.

I have a strong commitment to jobs. For months I have been calling for this lot over here to come up with a jobs plan. One week Mr Humphries says, "Yes, we've got a jobs plan. We'll release it soon." A week later he says, "We've got a jobs plan. We'll release it soon." The next week he says, "Cabinet is still considering the matter." The government has got a jobs plan only when we are close to an election. That is when we will see the jobs plan from this lot.

Middle-class people in this place should not be determining the future of workers, who are in reasonably low paid jobs and probably not working the hours that they would prefer to, on the basis of a gut feeling and a populist reaction to a serious problem in the community.

The evidence will be with us soon and that is what you should be basing your decision on. You should not be basing it on some sort of populist wish to deal with the problem by making a small move in an area which you think will make it look as though you are being responsible. You are being irresponsible if you are putting at risk jobs in the club industry, or anywhere else for that matter, by attacking this problem without relying on evidence. You would not take such action in any other case. I would like to know how you can justify ignoring the plight of workers. You might say, "It's only 50 jobs, it doesn't matter." Well, to me it matters, and I think you ought to wait for the evidence.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer): I seek leave to speak a second time.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: Ms Tucker asked me for assurance that certain work would be done by the Gambling and Racing Commission.

Mr Stanhope: The indifferent middle class-that is what you fall into.

MR HUMPHRIES: Thank you very much. I can indicate to Ms Tucker that I am quite happy to give the assurances she seeks.

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