Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4288 ..
MRS BURKE (continuing):
obligations and would indeed welcome cross-industry and cross-private sector involvement. They would welcome government funding for such programs to have all parties involved. How about that? Maybe it is inaction by this government that has resulted in the problem that we are faced with now. Mr Hargreaves is quite right; he mentioned that people should be trained and educated. I could not agree more. Business organisations would welcome further opportunities to educate school leavers about mutual responsibility as well as mutual obligation.
Using industry and business organisations in this way would be a positive step to ensuring that everyone is aware of award and agreement entitlements for casual workers. This approach would be both a credible and a responsible one. We cannot have casual workers being filled with fear that the wrong thing will happen to them if they choose to work as a casual. I therefore suggest that Mr Hargreaves and his government air with business organisations any concerns they may have. I commend Mr Hargreaves for bringing the motion out into the open. It is an important matter, as no doubt some people are slipping through the net, but I suggest that Mr Hargreaves looks within his own government. A holistic and creative approach is what is needed to provide jobs of all types, not just casual. Create the environment-that is what governments are for-for permanent, full-time, part-time and casual employment.
MS MacDONALD (11.02): I would like to also thank Mr Hargreaves for bringing forward this motion and I commend it to the Assembly. It is interesting that I am following on from Mrs Burke's speech, because I totally disagree with virtually everything she said in it; but I think Mr Hargreaves will probably address it when he speaks to close the debate.
I would like to start by referring to a speech-and Mrs Burke may do well to pay attention to this quote-from the Hon. Tony Burke, who is a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, a very good friend of mine and previously an organiser with the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, which has a very large amount of members who are employed as casuals. So Tony has very good experience in dealing with casual workers-as I would say I do, having worked for the Australian Services Union for five years, which covered casual workers, Mrs Burke. Anyway, Tony said:
My understanding of some of the issues affecting casuals changed radically at a midnight union meeting in a Franklins store for the nightfillers who fill supermarket shelves while most of us sleep. After the meeting, one of the members started telling me where I had had a coffee that afternoon and at which club I had attended a Labor Party meeting the night before. She knew because she had served me the coffee and seen me while she was working as a cleaner at the club. I realised that many casuals do not have to deal only with underemployment; some have a different set of problems that have largely passed under the radar in the public debate.
I refer to the problems faced by people with multiple jobs. This worker told me she would usually work overtime hours but, because they were across multiple jobs, she never received overtime rates. Her total income reached the superannuation threshold, but she fell below the threshold in two of her jobs. The health and safety principle of a 10-hour break between shifts had become meaningless. Any roster