Page 3134 - Week 08 - Thursday, 7 August 2008

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ensure the ongoing sustainability and equity of outcomes in the community sector, the Government should commence a wide ranging debate and consultation process with the community to bring about a consensus regarding future service levels, workforce development and funding, (f) the restoration of 15.4% employer superannuation contribution to ACT Public Sector employees engaged since the closure in 2006 of ACT Public Service employee access to the PSSap scheme, (g) the conduct of a review of current employment arrangements used by all ACT Government agencies and fund the development of entry level traineeships in a range of areas such as landscaping, road maintenance and parks management and (h) funding the provision of more affordable public parking spaces in Civic, Woden, Belconnen and Tuggeranong that offer the three for free option in order to encourage the use of public transport and to enable all workers to locate sufficient parking near their workplaces.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(a) While a similar service currently exists in all States and Territories except New South Wales, Tasmania and the ACT, these arrangements are being reassessed as the full implementation of all industrial relations changes in relation to Federal Labor’s Forward with Fairness are expected to reduce the level of complexity and the accompanying need for advice.

I have indicated that the preferred position is for the Federal Government to enforce and educate in relation to their own legislation. The ACT will lobby the Federal Government for increased resources for its advisory bodies in order to seek increased response and service levels.

(b) I am responsible for work safety policy and legislation whereas inspection and regulatory services rests with the Attorney-General. This allocation of responsibility reflects the desired policy and operational/regulatory split evident through the transfer of ACT WorkCover to the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS) in the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

ORS brings together capability from across the government to undertake functions including licensing, registration, consumer and trader assistance, compliance, enforcement and education. ORS was created to provide simpler, clearer and more efficient organisational structures, scaled to the reality of a small city-state, and ready to support business. The Government considers that this structure will see the Territory better placed to go beyond the UnionsACT objective to 'be a leader in OHS compliance' by developing a strong compliance culture amongst all business in all areas of regulation. ORS has undertaken a number of combined regulatory activities, which have promoted work safety as well as business regulation and consumer protection.

The Government is driving OHS in the Territory through:

§ release of an exposure draft of the Work Safety Bill 2008 to see the Territory better placed to be a leader in OHS regulation and better placed to adopt the model national law being developed under the auspices of COAG and the WRMC;

§ the allocation of $1.74m in the recent budget to implement the Work Safety Bill 2008 and increase the number of OHS inspectors;

§ dedicated resources in ORS to regulate and promote OHS;

§ the retention of an independent OHS Commissioner as part of the establishment of ORS; and

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