Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3924 ..
MR STEFANIAK: I ask a supplementary question. Do you now concede that your statements about rural lessees generally having access to other resources was incorrect, given that Dr Maxine Cooper of Environment ACT has given a commitment to "focusing on those people that derive their total income from the land"?
MR WOOD: That is entirely consistent with what I said. If down the track things get worse-and I expect they will-we will focus our attention on those people, as Dr Cooper said. Dr Cooper and I have had many conversations, and there is absolutely no difference. What I said and what she said are entirely consistent.
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Urban Services. Minister, I heard on the radio this morning that the ACT's garbage collectors have gone on strike for 24 hours because they believe the ACT government has reneged on commitments made to them and to their union, the Transport Workers Union. Has the government broken any commitments made-
MR SPEAKER: Speak up a bit, Mr Hargreaves.
MR HARGREAVES: Certainly. I am happy to start again for the benefit of the deaf across the chamber, Mr Speaker. For those people who are either deaf or stupid, I repeat myself. Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Urban Services.
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hargreaves! Don't crank it up too much.
Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, was that a reflection upon you as being deaf or stupid, given it was you who asked Mr Hargreaves to speak up?
MR SPEAKER: No, it was not, because Mr Hargreaves would not be game to do that.
MR HARGREAVES: Indeed, Mr Speaker. I would never reflect on you. I will start again. I heard on the radio this morning that the ACT's garbage collectors have gone on strike for 24 hours because they believe that the ACT government may have reneged on commitments made to them and their union, the Transport Workers Union. Has the government broken any commitments made to the garbage collectors or the Transport Workers Union?
MR WOOD: I do not believe we have. In the circumstances it is difficult to give absolute commitments to put something down in fine detail in a tender document. I have to tread carefully and keep myself at a respectable distance from what has been happening. I would prefer this strike not to occur. I am sure the workers would prefer that too. They do not want to lose a day's pay.
I think this reflects the difficulty of the transition from one contract to another. It would be good if this was a seamless transition. I was rather hoping that it would be. We have had seven years of very excellent service under the current contract. The contractor and, in particular, the workers have performed at the highest level, and I want that to continue. I am sure the community wants it continue.