Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1031 ..
I have to confess to you, Mrs Cross, that it is not an issue that I have taken a recent briefing on. That is the sum total of my information at this stage.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Stanhope, people are having difficulty hearing. I think you will have to speak into the microphone.
MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I beg everybody's pardon. I was just saying that I regret that model litigant guidelines are not an issue that I have taken a recent briefing on. That is a summary from my notes of the current position reached. I will brief myself, Mrs Cross, and I will be more than happy to brief you, on exactly what the time lines are and where the department is up to in relation to the model litigant guidelines.
This is something I do take seriously. I have from time to time, particularly since having been a member of the Assembly over the last five year-I cannot think of an example at this stage-considered this matter. The issue and the concern that the government must in all of its dealings through legal processes be a model litigant in all respects have certainly attracted my attention. So the development, completion and dissemination of these guidelines is something that I believe is very important.
MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Minister, I thank you for taking the question on notice. To add to the matters on which you will be getting back to me: could you perhaps let me know whether you have set a deadline for the completion of those rules and, if so, what is that deadline? Also, when that is completed, will the rules be in the form of a statute or some other regulation, and will they be mandatory?
MR STANHOPE: I will take those questions on notice. As I say, I am not quite up to date on it. I would not imagine, though, Mrs Cross, that we would be pursuing the guidelines in the form of a statute. But I will take the question on notice and get a fuller answer for you.
MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations, Ms Gallagher. It is about Totalcare workers who are facing the sack. On the Uhlmann/Kilby breakfast program yesterday morning on ABC Radio, Dave Campbell of the CFMEU stated that Totalcare workers were angry about "being stuffed around and pushed from one minister to the other". That is because the government will not come clean.
Minister, you stated at a CFMEU meeting yesterday, as reported on WIN News last night, that Totalcare workers had faced "a lot of uncertainty and that's not fair". I agree. What are you doing to end the uncertainty felt by Totalcare workers facing the sack and what are you going to do to ensure that they will be treated fairly?
MS GALLAGHER: I must say that I find it a bit rich to have that thrown back at us. The uncertainty I was referring to is the uncertainty that has been there for some years now and we have been left to clean up. Yesterday, I said to those workers that they had rights and protections under the law and under their certified agreements that this government will respect and that we will be encouraging them to enter into dialogue. As