Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4290 ..
MS MacDONALD: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for reminding me that I do need to direct my comments through you.
Mr Stanhope: How's the business going, Mrs Burke?
Mrs Dunne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. You have already asked the Chief Minister to withdraw a personal imputation, but the banter is still going on across the chamber. I know you cannot ask the Chief Minister to withdraw the smirk. He might think he is smart, but this is entirely out of order.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.
MS MacDONALD: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I think the comment has been levelled that I am out of touch. Well, I certainly do not believe that I am out of touch from the perspective of the employees and those people who are actually affected by the casualisation, the increasing casualisation.
Mr Hargreaves has already talked about the increasing difficulty people who are in casual employment have of getting a loan. That is a common problem. We have talked about the numbers of people trying to get permanent jobs and the increase in casualisation. We have a major problem facing us in terms of people wanting to make a life for themselves and their families.
My brother experienced this. He is a geologist and he could not get a job when the geology market dropped out. He had a young family at the time and he and his wife were looking to purchase a house. He could not get a loan because at the time he was stacking shelves, Mrs Burke-that was the only work that he could get-and his wife was working two casual jobs. So they could not get a loan.
I talked about how I used to represent the employees at ACTTAB and Auscript. The ACTTAB employees did have protections, and I would say that that was because of the strength of the union representation there. I am sure that you would agree with that statement, Mr Speaker; they do have very strong union representation there. The union fought long and hard to ensure protection for the women working in telephone betting; there were a couple of men working in telephone betting but, once again, it was predominantly female.
But there was always the ongoing issue of shifts. There were a number of women there and they liked the work but a lot of them would have liked to have had more permanent shifts. They had to give up their Saturdays and, when I was involved there, there was a continuous push from management-I do not know if it is the case any more and I would not like to speculate-to move more of the hours to Sundays. So people were being asked to give up their weekends and time with their family. So you cannot say that people choose to do casual work so that they can spend more time with their family, because they cannot; they are at work. Then there is the time spent getting to and from work.