Page 3963 - Week 12 - Thursday, 20 October 2005

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to implement practical and innovative policies for the benefit of not only the territory’s young, but also the wider community.

The government remains totally committed to the spirit and intent of the children’s plan and young people’s plan. We will continue to implement strategies, in tandem with the community and, most importantly, with children and young people that are meaningful, transparent and accountable and that deliver better opportunities for our children and young people now and into the future. I present the following paper:

ACT Children’s Plan and Young People’s Plan—Progress report—Ministerial statement, 20 October 2005.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Industrial relations

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Burke, Dr Foskey, Mr Gentleman, Ms MacDonald, Ms Porter, Mr Pratt, Mr Seselja, Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Ms Porter be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The impact on young people, women and the disadvantaged in the ACT of the Federal Government’s proposed industrial relations changes.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4.05): Whilst we have discussed the IR reforms in great detail this week, I want to bring to the attention of the Assembly the particular impact these changes will have on young people, women and the disadvantaged in the ACT. I am aware that those opposite are tiring of this debate. In fact, their current leader, Mr Smyth, cannot even summon up enough energy to contribute one word to discussions of such important matters as industrial relations and workers’ rights and conditions. I for one find this very strange, and I am sure that members of the ACT community will find it quite interesting.

Might it be that in recent times Mr Smyth has been more concerned about protecting his own job and the benefits that go with that job, rather than having concern for the rights of hardworking Canberrans? One can only hope we will hear from the Leader of the Opposition on this subject today. However, although those opposite are becoming mightily sick of hearing about the dreadful act their federal colleagues are preparing to commit against Australian workers, I am going to point out a few more home truths. Perhaps this time they will really listen. Perhaps this time it will really sink in. Perhaps this time they will really understand the effects of this legislation. I understand they tend to be slow learners. However, I am ever an optimist and I am hopeful that at least a little of what I am about to say will seep into the grey matter of those opposite.

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