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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 3484 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

That the resolution of the Assembly of 7 May 2003, concerning the reference of the Long Service Leave (Private Sector) Bill 2003 to the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs, be amended by omitting the words "by 23 September 2003".

Just very briefly, a number of submissions are still to be made, Mr Speaker. I do note that-and this causes my colleague Ms Tucker some concern-the government apparently is not going to put in a submission. I am not quite sure why. Perhaps they could just contact us, write to us, and just make that point. I think that would be helpful. I would like to make that point. There are a number of other organisations who wish to appear before, and make submissions to, the committee.

MS TUCKER: (11.09) I just want to make a couple of comments. I am supporting this movement of the reporting date because we haven't basically been able to complete the work. It is a very important inquiry; it is a very important social issue. I am extremely and slightly painfully aware of the fact that there are many people-I think one of the figures I have seen is around 80,000 people-right now in the ACT who are extremely disadvantaged in terms of protection, of entitlements and of portability in this area.

I am very concerned that the government is not putting a submission in to this inquiry, and I would like to put that on the record. I echo Mr Stefaniak's concerns there because this is a subject, obviously, of great interest. I'm not quite sure why the government would not put in a submission to help inform the committee's work on this matter.

We are not actually giving a reporting date today, but I know that the committee is of the view that this does need to be reported on before the end of the year, hopefully in the November sitting, so that we can move quickly into the debate on this issue. As we are all well aware, it is a slightly contentious issue, and it would be a tragedy, in my view, if we saw this thing dragged out so that we actually didn't do it because suddenly it was too hot an issue for an election year. I think it is really critical that we do actually get this thing progressed quickly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Scrutiny report No 37

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I present the following report:

Legal Affairs-Standing Committee (performing the duties of a Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation Committee)-Scrutiny Report No 37, dated 2 September 2003, together with the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: Scrutiny report No 37 contains the committee's comments on 10 bills and 2 government responses. The report was circulated to members out of session. I commend the report to the Assembly.

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