Page 4565 - Week 12 - Thursday, 15 October 2009

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Long Service Leave (Community Sector) Amendment Bill 2009

Debate resumed.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability and Housing, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Corrections): I seek leave of the Assembly to move a motion to adjourn this debate. I wish to outline the reasons for that motion but I do not want to jeopardise my speaking rights later.

Leave granted.

MR HARGREAVES: I thank members very sincerely for this. It would appear that we are in agreement, generally speaking in the Assembly, that we want to see the portability of long service leave for the community sector, which has been needed to be in place for some time. I think we are all agreed on that.

Where we are actually slightly disagreed, I suppose, is in some of the processes and some of the understandings which underpin some of the processes. An issue has come to light this morning which causes, I think, reasonable concern where there will be a lack of understanding on the part of members of this place to such a degree where they would be uncomfortable about not only passing the legislation but proceeding to the debate.

It is my intention, therefore, to ask the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services to brief members between now and the time when the bill comes on. If there are other issues which emerge from it, then we will have time actually to address those issues.

I intend to move formally that we adjourn to another date. That date will be a date to be set in the two weeks of sitting in November. For Ms Hunter’s benefit now that she is here, so that she can hear me put it on the record, that will give time for both the Greens and the opposition to be appraised of the issues as the department sees them and an opportunity for their concerns to be either addressed or fixed.

It is important that this scheme be watertight to protect those people that it is intended to protect. What we cannot have is this Assembly considering legislation where legitimately members are uncomfortable about even discussing it. With that, I propose to formally move:

That debate be adjourned and the resumption of the debate be made an order of the day for the next sitting.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, my advice is that if you move the adjournment when you seek the call when we come back next time, you will close the debate, which I am sure is not your intended consequence. So perhaps another member could move the adjournment?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, colleagues. Let me assure you, Mr Speaker, that when I come back next time I shall not be wearing the garb of a

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