Page 2920 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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In addition, the new legislation will allow an augmented board to more easily oversee the operations of multiple schemes within the authority and will reduce the administrative burden on the authority—for example, removing the need to produce two or more annual reports and statements of intent. The new legislation will not only streamline the administration of existing portable long service leave schemes but also make it easier to establish and implement schemes for additional industries in the ACT. The ACT has been at the forefront of innovation in the area of portable long service leave schemes, being the first to introduce a cleaning scheme in 2000 and also in deciding to introduce a scheme for workers in the community sector scheme, which the government foreshadowed in the 2008 budget.

As the minister responsible for long service leave, it will be my great pleasure soon to present in this Assembly, on behalf of the Minister for Community Services, legislation to provide for a portable long service leave scheme for the community and childcare sectors. The provisions in the legislation will be informed by the consultations undertaken with workers and employers in the community sector earlier this year. In addition, the scheme has had substantial input from an actuary report, which was commissioned to identify the relative costs for employers in the community sector. All states and territories have a construction industry long service leave scheme, but to date only Queensland has followed the ACT’s lead in introducing a cleaning scheme and currently no others have a community sector scheme.

The new integrated authority will continue to work closely with the Office of Industrial Relations and the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services to facilitate the introduction of the new community sector scheme. The integration of the authorities under this legislation will also facilitate the continuation of a range of improvements being currently undertaken in the area of portable long service leave management and administration in the ACT. This change agenda includes the development of a revised staffing structure and a critical review and refinement of all operational processes and procedures, including the information management system.

The board of the new authority will continue a program of close consultation and liaison with stakeholders in the relevant industries, particularly employers and employees and their representative bodies. Indeed, this bill involved extensive stakeholder consultation that has resulted in agreement between both boards and employer and employee representatives, including all relevant unions, that this proposal is in the best interests of the long service leave schemes.

Mr Speaker, at this point I would like to acknowledge the work that went before, particularly the efforts of former Speaker Wayne Berry, who had a vision that all non-public sector employees would have portability of their long service leave entitlements. We knew it was a difficult thing to actually deliver at the time and we knew we would have to do it industry by industry. This work, which now will see the two sectors come together, is the start of that.

I would also like to acknowledge the work that the Deputy Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, did as Minister for Industrial Relations in kicking this whole concept off. It

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