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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3083 ..

MR SPEAKER: I am sorry, I did not hear that. Are you upset by that Mrs Dunne?

Mrs Dunne: I think his behaviour is shameful and reprehensible.

Mr Stanhope: What do you think of Mr Hanson’s behaviour?

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members. I think at this point we are going to stop the points of order. I have made my view clear and I expect a better standard of behaviour in this chamber. It reflects badly on all of us, the way this question time is being conducted. Mr Hargreaves, did we get your supplementary question? Has the minister answered? I am sorry, I have lost track.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. The substantive part of it, given that I have withdrawn the accusation that they are sons and daughters of Peter Reith, was: can you advise the Assembly what support has been given to organisations leading up to the introduction of the scheme today?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. Indeed, in leading up to the introduction of this portable long service leave scheme, the government has worked hard to support organisations to understand the obligations of the portable long service leave scheme. Initial community consultation with the broader sector was conducted by urbis, an independent consultant, who found that peak organisations were generally supportive of the scheme. There was general consensus from employees and unions that the scheme would encourage worker loyalty to the sector as a whole.

During the consultations, broader support for a mandatory scheme and one that is broadly defined was expressed. The government responded to these views and the scheme will be available for full-time, part-time and casual employees. The scheme is administered by the Long Service Leave Authority. Throughout February, March, April, May and June this year, the authority consulted with employers to inform them of their obligations under the new scheme. As at 17 June, 132 employer organisations had attended briefings by the authority’s CEO in 22 small group briefing sessions. A further 300 employers in the sector have been communicated with regarding the introduction of the scheme.

The consultation will be ongoing and assistance is available to individual employers and groups of employees and employees, if required. The practical assistance is focused on how to lodge returns from existing information sources that employers already hold. This ongoing consultation is important in ensuring organisations, employers and employees are supported throughout the transition of the new scheme.

I note that the first returns are due to be lodged at the end of October and transitional support will be available at this time on a case-by-case basis.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

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