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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3455 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

that, as the minister for the last three and a bit years who has had responsibility for this issue, I am glad that we got to the stage we reached tonight.

I think we have taken a tremendous step forward in putting in place a system to look after and protect workers, to ensure that they get back to work, to give them the assistance that they deserve, to give them the compensation that is necessary, and to make sure that all players take seriously the part they play in this process.

Mr Speaker, I would like to thank a few people, most of whom are here in the gallery this evening. I refer to Tony Thew, Craig Simmons, Sean Moysey, Ron Kirk, Ken Horsham, Colin Adrian and, of course, Brad Page, who has assisted so well. The ladies and gentleman of the department, particularly the gentlemen I have just named, have done a tremendous job in putting this together today. They have done a tremendous job in shepherding all MLAs through the deliberations today and this evening to make sure that we achieved a good outcome. I would also like to thank James Lennane from my office, who has also assisted tremendously in making this happen.

The people from the Parliamentary Counsel's Office also deserve a tremendous vote of thanks. We had a raft of amendments from many members and we received more amendments today. Of course, your staff, Mr Speaker, put out running sheets to make sure that our consideration of the legislation worked as smoothly as it has this evening. I thank all who were involved.

I am sure that the outcome of this legislation will be better protection of and better rehabilitation for workers. I hope that employers, employees and those who provide assistance to workers who find themselves in trouble will take their obligations seriously. I would simply like to say thank members of the Assembly for their support.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I want to particularly thank the Parliamentary Counsel's Office for their assistance with drafting. I think nine versions of my amendments were circulated to members, and they were of such quality that the government eventually picked up most of them. The Parliamentary Counsel have to be thanked for their effort, particularly in view of the pressure that was caused by this legislation being considered in the last sitting days of the Assembly. Of course, other members had amendments drafted as well.

At all times staff of the Parliamentary Counsel's Office were available and willing to put their shoulder to the wheel in relation to this complex legislation. As late as this morning I was on the phone to the Parliamentary Counsel and they were able to come up with the goods in relation to amendments which have been carried in this place. I do not know how they measure their performance, but we should bear in mind that many of the amendment they drafted successfully found their way into this legislation.

I want to thank those members who supported some of the initiatives that were put forward in the legislation. I will not say too much about the initiatives that they opposed. I would also like to thank the government officers who provided us with briefings-I am

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