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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4885 ..

MR SMYTH: A person in the gallery interjected that we should have a big group hug. That highlights the shallowness of that individual, which is no reflection on members in this place.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Interjections from the gallery are highly disorderly.

MR SMYTH: If the government is intent on employing that technique we will not have a community approach to resolving these issues. Experience has shown that it will work much better if we do things together. The opposition opposes this unnecessary legislation that will drive a wedge into the community rather than bringing the community together. We oppose this legislation because it is badly drafted and because it does not have widespread community support. We oppose this legislation because it will not achieve what it purports to do-that is, reduce the number of workplace deaths.

If we are to reduce the number of deaths in the workplace we need a modern, efficient Occupational Health and Safety Act. We look forward to seeing the draft regulations that were alluded to earlier by the minister. We would like to see WorkCover adequately resourced. Its present inadequate resources have resulted in its inability to enforce the law. Those are some of the things that will reduce workplace deaths. Bosses, workers and unions must work together towards a common goal. They must not work against one another to the detriment of all.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (8.41): Tomorrow we will see in the Canberra Times the headline "Liberals fought long and hard against this legislation". It appears as though the only tool that the Liberals have is volume. We have heard some lengthy speeches that were full of clichés but that were totally devoid of any reasonable arguments.

I was amazed at some of the arguments that were put forward today as opposed to the arguments that were put forward yesterday when we were debating a sentencing bill. There appears to be a 180-degree difference in the type of logic that is being employed. I participate in debate on this bill to advise Mr Smyth that if the HR Nicholls Society had given me a lapel badge I would not wear it regularly. The member appears to be the butt of a cruel joke. The member, who wore the badge on an earlier occasion, is now making himself the butt of a cruel joke.

MRS DUNNE (8.42): It is sad that such an important matter-deaths in the workplace-is being treated in such an offhand way by a party that alleges it is concerned about the workers. The Chief Minister interjected earlier, "What have you got against workers?"Quite frankly, we do not have anything against workers. We are all workers, we are married to workers, we have children who are workers and we have parents who are workers. I was a member of a union when I worked in places where that was appropriate, I have been a union organiser and I attended union meetings regularly.

Mr Stanhope: What union was that?

MRS DUNNE: Over a period of 20 years I was a member of the CPSU and the ACOA and all the various versions of that union. I was a member of a union for the whole of the period that I was a member of the public service. My father and I participated in union

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