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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 9 December 2010) . . Page.. 6043 ..

Thursday, 9 December 2010

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Public Sector Management Amendment Bill 2010

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (10.02): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce the Public Sector Management Amendment Bill 2010. This bill is designed to achieve a number of things. Some of them are simply procedural, reflecting the passage of time and the need for the act to remain consistent with other pieces of legislation, particularly commonwealth legislation.

Some of the amendments are designed to reflect the movement of particular entitlements out of the legislative arena and into workplace agreements. But there are also elements to this bill that go to the heart of the government’s determination to build a stronger and better public service, a more representative public service, a fairer and more respectful public service, better attuned to the community’s needs and better able to meet those needs.

When I launched the ACT public service’s respect, equity and diversity framework last week I announced my intention to amend the Public Sector Management Act in a bid to improve the representation within our service of Canberrans with disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans. This amendment bill gives effect to that intention.

It amends the merit principle, enabling chief executives to nominate and dedicate particular positions within their departments or agencies to Indigenous officers or officers with a disability. The government is determined to boost the representation of these two groups of Canberrans in our public service.

To quote just one statistic, people with disabilities make up 16 per cent of our population, yet they currently occupy just 1.6 per cent of the jobs in the ACT public service. That clearly is not good enough. The government is currently preparing dedicated employment strategies for the ACT public service for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and people with disabilities.

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