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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2010) . . Page.. 2386 ..

Security Industry Amendment Bill 2010

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.49): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, I am bringing this amendment bill forward today after detailed consultation with key employer and employee representatives of the ACT security industry. Following debate of these amendments on 8 December last year, I took the opportunity to write to all members of the industry to clarify any misinformation which may have existed, explain the policy rationale behind this government initiative and outline how the law would work in practice. A number of industry representatives have taken the opportunity to raise their concerns and ask questions about the operation of the proposed new law. While some continue to hold reservations, others have expressed support in principle for the aims of the legislation, particularly with respect to holding unscrupulous traders to account.

The Security Industry Amendment Bill amends the Security Industry Act 2003 to ensure that people wanting to work in the security industry have the same access to information about their workplace entitlements, rights and responsibilities as do people working in other industries.

Due to the nature of their work circumstances, which can often involve working in isolation from each other in other people’s workplaces, often only able to take short meal breaks, many security industry employees do not always have full access to this opportunity to access information available from union officials, for example, work safety information.

The bill will amend the Security Industry Act 2003 to expand the current suitability criteria and prerequisites for applicants for an employee licence to work in the security industry.

As envisaged by current law, workplace information would be provided by union officials belonging to a registered organisation. This information would be provided free of charge, made easily accessible to security licence applicants and pose no burden on security employers. The employee organisation will give participants a certificate on completion of the information session. Armed with this information, workers will be in a much better position to know their legal rights as they relate to their entitlements under relevant laws in force in the territory, thereby promoting greater productivity and economic growth in the ACT security industry.

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