Page 655 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 28 March 2006

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contracts, was raised. The parallels of these concerns with the dealings of a certain cleaning company were not lost on those in the committee room. Maybe her disdain for the committee comes from a fear of being too close to the bone—in fact, so close that she had to excuse herself from the hearings and leave well before the witnesses were able to finish their presentation on the contracting issue.

I do not wish Mrs Burke’s statements to detract from the report and witnesses’ statements, nor from the 10 submissions received in total. But I feel that, if she is going to publicly ridicule invited witnesses, bringing into question the validity of this Assembly to create its own committee, she can hardly be seen to be devoting herself to this work. Given the fact that it is her position that this committee should cease its inquiry, I cannot see how Mrs Burke will be capable of any form of positive contribution. In fact, it is my firm belief that the only contribution Mrs Burke intends to give is to disrupt this committee and its inquiry as much as possible. That said, I ask that she remove herself from the committee or that the acting opposition leader remove her. I am sure there are ample members very keen to commit themselves to the Assembly process. Irrespective of the decision of Mrs Burke to remain in or remove herself from the committee, this committee will continue with its inquiry because we are committed to giving the people of Canberra a platform for their concerns on industrial relations reform.

We have heard the actuality of some of these effects and we have heard Ms Porter say that IR is a policy that has been radically altered by the federal government. We have heard from Ms Porter on employers and on the Prime Minister, who said that the sky will not fall in and we should have no concerns. She spoke about her local high school and she also spoke about the statements from lawyers yesterday about unlawful dismissal.

Despite one member of the committee seeking to abandon its constituency, this committee will continue with its work. As Mrs Burke pointed out in the committee hearings, we are not living in the 1900s. Why would such archaic legislation that predates the 1900s go unexamined by the people of this Assembly? I would like to thank the committee secretary, Ellie Eggerking, the witnesses who attended the committee and my committee colleagues.

Civil Unions Bill 2006

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs, and Acting Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (11.15): I ask leave to present the Civil Unions Bill 2006.

Mr Stefaniak: Just before he does that, I have spoken to the Chief Minister about this. We do not particularly want to be obstructive—

MR SPEAKER: Order! What is it you want to do here?

Mr Stefaniak: Basically, we were only given notification very late yesterday. I heard it in the media. I would like the Chief Minister to address that in seeking leave.

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