Page 4772 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 13 December 2005

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a cost effective system that is affordable for the community.

The role of the plan states that, as a comprehensive framework for a sustainable transport system for Canberra, the plan contains strategies concerning road safety planning, among other initiatives.

I mentioned earlier that Mr Seselja had quoted from Hansard on the safety aspects of the construction of the Woden to Dickson on-road cycling lane. This quote was an absolute misuse of the committee transcript by Mr Seselja. To quote his own question to the minister and deliberately omit the answer—that is right, deliberately omit the answer from the minister—is a deliberate misuse of the committee process and a deliberate misuse of the Assembly. I quote now the omission where the minister answered the question. The minister said:

I am satisfied that the road facility for cyclists is efficacious; that it satisfies national standards for pavement width and pavement compatibility with the roads around it; and that, if anything, it will prevent cyclists being injured on the roads. We have the full support of the cycling community in this town.

There was then more information provided to the committee on the on-road cycle lanes, to help answer concerns raised by Mr Seselja.

I will go on to speak about Mr Seselja’s other dissenting comments. Mr Seselja has raised concerns about the fact that he could not agree to the committee’s recommendation 11, which I will again read out for the benefit of Mr Seselja, who was not present in the chamber this morning:

The Committee commends the ACT Government for its policy of not encouraging the use of Australian Workplace Agreements in the ACT Public Service.

Mr Seselja tells us that he opposes this recommendation and believes that the committee should condemn the ACT government for keeping wages low in the ACT public service by failing to offer AWAs. Mr Seselja also states that this is outside the terms of reference. I draw Mr Seselja’s attention to the fact that these are departmental annual financial reports—yes, financial reports—and standing committees are to inquire into the financial running of government departments. Forgive me if I am wrong, but industrial relations and employee-related costs are probably the highest outlay of any business, including the ACT public service. How could the committee’s discussions on AWAs in the terms of the annual report hearings be misguided when they are specifically related to the costs of employment? However, Mr Seselja must find AWAs to be rather an important issue in relation to annual reports, as he continued for three paragraphs about his views on AWAs.

The committee commends the ACT government for not encouraging AWAs. There are currently 250 employees on AWAs in the ACT public service—all, according to Mr Seselja, better off. I have some figures here that the opposition may find interesting. Mr Seselja stated that if the ACT government is serious about retaining high-performance staff and preventing them moving to the commonwealth public service or the private sector it should offer AWAs. I quote from an article referring to the federal government in the Age of 14 July this year:

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