Page 1947 - Week 06 - Friday, 6 May 2005

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MS GALLAGHER: The statistics of union membership are not relevant in this debate because this legislation is not union legislation. This legislation is about providing a benefit for ordinary working people. This bill is about providing an entitlement to ordinary working people and enabling them to share in the prosperity of our community, in line with public sector workers—

Mr Pratt: And discriminating against those loyal employees.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Pratt really needs to stop interjecting.

MR SPEAKER: It does not help if you respond to the interjections. Direct your comments through the chair, please.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Speaker, Mr Pratt would do well to read what this legislation is about, rather than just interjecting. In conclusion: Mr Mulcahy made mention of the Tolpuddle Martyrs in his first address yesterday—a rather theatrical address it was, quite exciting to watch. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were framed men—men, and their families, persecuted by employers, driven like dogs to the criminal courts and sent on a diseased convict boat to Australia. Interestingly, the martyrs were framed by an employer and someone who passionately believed in church, constitution, king and country and maintenance of the status quo. It sounds a little familiar, listening to some of the arguments we heard yesterday.

Mr Mulcahy may salivate at the prospect of the building industry task force imprisoning people for organising a union. He may also dream at night of one day rolling back long service leave entitlements in the ACT. But, while the Australian Labor Party sits on these benches, we will conscientiously work to improve the conditions of working people and their families in the ACT in cooperation with employers.

Question put:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 10

Noes 7

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Burke

Mr Smyth

Mr Corbell

Ms MacDonald

Mrs Dunne

Mr Stefaniak

Dr Foskey

Ms Porter

Mr Mulcahy

Ms Gallagher

Mr Quinlan

Mr Pratt

Mr Gentleman

Mr Stanhope

Mr Seselja

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill by leave, taken as a whole.

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