Page 3880 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 19 October 2005

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important for us to keep in mind that if we, as rather privileged members of society, point out that other people do not have it as good as we do, that is not having a go. That is part of the debate. Mr Mulcahy also said that people were not likely to be taken advantage of, that this is not 1929 with masses queuing for employment; the economy is strong. That begs the question: if the economy is so strong, what is the pressing need to actually put through these so-called reforms? There is none. Mr Corbell made the very pertinent point that, although the economy is strong at this particular point, how will this legislation stand up when we have higher unemployment?

There was also a comment made about doom and gloom predictions by Beazley that have not come to pass. That could well be because Mr Peter Reith was not actually successful in getting through all the workplace reforms that he wanted. That is why the doom and gloom situation has not come to pass. But I can tell you, Mr Mulcahy, that it has not been sunshine and happiness for all. The federal government should give all Australians a fair go. I commend this motion to the Assembly.

Motion agreed to.

People living in poverty

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.40): I move:

That this Assembly, in regard to people living in poverty in the ACT:

(1) recognises:

(a) the link between unemployment, underemployment, and ongoing cycles of poverty;

(b) the growing proportion of the low-skilled workforce at risk of unemployment and underemployment due to the increasing casualisation of the workforce; and

(c) the prohibitively high effective marginal tax rates for social security beneficiaries;

(2) acknowledges their increased vulnerability as a consequence of Federal Government policy to:

(a) extensively reshape employment conditions and arrangements; and

(b) require more social security beneficiaries to re-enter the workforce; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) provide a detailed analysis of employment rates and distribution in the ACT;

(b) investigate a targeted employment creation and support strategy incorporating:

(i) the refocussing of business support programs to those creating entry level employment, such as in areas of community and social services; and

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