Page 1937 - Week 06 - Friday, 6 May 2005

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Friday, 6 May 2005

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 9.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs, performing the duties of a scrutiny of bills and subordinate legislation committee, in relation to the Rates Amendment Bill 2005.

This bill would amend the Rates Act 2004 to bring the calculation of rates liability for rural land into line with the method used to determine the rates liability for residential and commercial land. It would allow the inclusion of a fixed charge component into the formula used to calculate rates liability for rural land. The bill would also make rural land with an average unimproved land value of equal to or less than the rates-free threshold liable to the fixed charge component only.

The committee has examined the Rates Amendment Bill 2005 and offers no comment on it.

Long Service Leave Amendment Bill 2005

Debate resumed from 5 May 2005, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (9.32): I do not have a great deal more to add on this particular bill, but it is worth reflecting on the history of long service leave and the basis on which this provision came into being, because it in fact stems back to the 19th century for Victorian and South Australian civil servants. The provisions were that civil service officers who had completed at least 10 years service could be granted leave of absence with pay for periods of six or 12 months. The purpose of the leave was to reward those who had performed long and faithful service in the colonies by providing an opportunity for them to visit the United Kingdom.

I appreciate that the Minister for Planning is taking the opportunity to visit the United Kingdom, but I do not think it is on the basis of long service leave.

MR SPEAKER: Relevance.

MR MULCAHY: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker, of course. All state and commonwealth public servants were subsequently granted the entitlement, and it was then gradually extended to other public sector employees. In fact, long service leave began to be included in federal awards by consent in the late 1940s, and it did not become a standard employment condition for all employees until the passage in the 1950s of long service leave legislation in all states.

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