Page 3455 - Week 11 - Thursday, 15 November 2007

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Given that WorkChoices was hanging over all of our heads as this negotiation process was completed, I am pleased to see that this has all come to a final conclusion. I should say that agreement was reached, I believe, in late May-early June this year and the voting period was delayed by several months because of the length of time it took the commonwealth Workplace Authority to approve the content of the agreement. During that time, of course, the productivity savings that we wanted to see which could be delivered through this agreement have been lost for this year. So in terms of getting a new flexible workplace relations system up, we have actually been delayed by the commonwealth’s process by at least three months, I believe, while it sat there waiting for approval of the content.

The new agreement will be lodged with the Workplace Authority on 15 November, which means that the conditions could not take effect from today. Hopefully—I am sure they will be—pay increases, including the back pay to May will take effect before Christmas, allowing nursing staff to receive all of that extra money in time for the Christmas holiday period.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question from Ms MacDonald.

MS MacDONALD: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My supplementary question is: could the minister please update the Assembly on separation rates for nurses and staffing levels in our public hospitals?

Mrs Dunne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: It has to be relevant. It has to be supplementary to the question that was asked.


MR PRATT: My question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, a development application was submitted in 2004 in relation to improvements to a property at block 12, section 176 in Gungahlin. The proposed plan was not consistent with the territory plan and a dispute between ACTPLA and the developer has continued to this point. Minister, without commenting on this particular case, if a development application is inconsistent with the territory plan, why would ACTPLA still circulate it for public comment?

MR BARR: I do not have the details of that case in front of me. There are obviously hundreds—thousands—of development applications that are lodged each year.

Mr Pratt: That is why I asked you to comment on the theme, not the incident.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Pratt.

MR BARR: I note the question in relation to the theme. It does seem unusual, and I will seek advice from ACTPLA on that matter.

MR SPEAKER: Is there a supplementary question?

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