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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3735 ..

MR SPEAKER (continuing):

Health Amendment Bill 2003

Detail stage

Debate resumed from 23 September 2003.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clauses 2 and 3, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 4.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (4.42): I seek leave to move together amendments 1 to 3 circulated in my name.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: I move amendments 1 to 3 [see schedule 1 at page 3760].

Mr Speaker, these amendments make changes to the respective clauses to allow for an organisation which is not incorporated to be a potential bargaining agent under the provisions of the bill. This is a result of concerns raised with me by the Visiting Medical Officers Association, which is not an incorporated body and is currently taking action in the Industrial Relations Commission to have itself designated, effectively, as a union or registered organisation.

Under the provisions of the Workplace Relations Act, it is not possible for a body which is not incorporated to be recognised as a registered organisation for the purposes of that act. This change recognises the circumstances of the VMOA and does not preclude it from being a negotiating agent, pending the conclusion of its submission to the Industrial Relations Commission.

MS TUCKER (4.43): The Greens will be supporting the amendments. I understand that they are being moved because the VMOA is not an incorporated body and the amendments will allow it to be a negotiating agent.

MRS CROSS (4.44): Mr Speaker, I am pleased to see that the government has provided amendments after consultation with the major stakeholders. The amendments do add positively to the bill and, I gather, do deal with some of the complaints made by the various groups.

I hope that this bill will provide a reasonable negotiating base for the employment of visiting medical officers for the ACT hospital system. I trust that there will be no walkouts by doctors and that there will be no excessive additions to the waiting lists or the waiting times for surgery during the negotiating period. I hope that the minister will be able to assure the members of this Assembly that this new method of negotiating will be beneficial for people in the ACT and not cause undue stress and discomfort. I will be supporting the bill with the government's amendments.

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