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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2840 ..

Proposed expenditure-part 2-ACT executive, $3,187,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $3,187,000.

MS DUNDAS (3.37): I want to make a short statement about the appropriation for the ACT executive. I understand that this appropriation will ensure that members and ministers receive a pay rise under the Remuneration Tribunal decision. It will also implement the recommendations of the review of Assembly members staffing arrangements, and this is an interesting lesson in the way the Labor government appears to be treating public servants in the territory.

The government appears to be continuing the Liberal practice of trading off conditions simply to enable wages to keep pace with inflation. The problem with trading conditions for pay is that at some stage there is nothing left to trade. The modern workplace is one where hours are long and varied and simply an increase in pay for less conditions is not an answer. Recognition of work done and the value of that work is what is required. A quick solution needs to be found, and moving to a certified agreement is perhaps the answer for this type of public servant.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure-part 3-Auditor-General, $943,000 (net cost of outputs), totalling $943,000-agreed to.

Proposed expenditure-part 4-Chief Minister's, $58,178,000 (net cost of outputs), $8,748,000 (capital injection) and $3,145,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $70,071,000.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections) (3.39): Mr Speaker, I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 2913]. This amendment and the other amendments that I shall move-all nine of them-relate to the change in administrative arrangement orders arising out of the creation of a new department which, as members are aware, resulted from the review following the Gallop report and the government's intention to take some positive action in that respect. So all of the amendments are purely a rearrangement associated with the administrative arrangement orders.

MRS CROSS (3.40): Mr Speaker, in many ways the opposition should be flattered by this budget as almost all of it is simply maintaining former Liberal initiatives. There is very little that is new, and some of what is new is either rebadged or a bit difficult to understand.

Take the new ACT Office of Women as an example. This supposed new initiative is a slightly expanded version of an existing function within the department, with funding taken from elsewhere within the same community programs unit. While an additional focus on women's issues is always welcome, the Chief Minister and his officials at estimates refused to make clear which areas were now receiving less focus and less funding as a result. In fact, the Chief Minister came across as being rather muddled on this point.

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