Page 4750 - Week 11 - Thursday, 20 October 2011

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are legally entitled to be paid. But this is not a workforce that we directly employ. I think there would be some difficulty if we were, as the non-direct employer, to inflate a contract to over-compensate for what those workers were actually engaged for and being paid. I am not sure how you would do it.

From my point of view, it is clear the government, as a responsible purchaser of services, needs to purchase in accordance with that so that all people’s wages and conditions can be legally fulfilled. And we do that. The other issue that we are looking at is introducing a portable long service leave scheme to ensure improvements to their conditions overall.

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Minister, have you considered reviewing the security clearance requirements that ACT government agencies impose on security contractors, particularly in terms of over-classification problems and the costs and burdens that these requirements can put on security workers?

MS GALLAGHER: No, I have not, Ms Bresnan, but I am happy to take a look at it and take some further advice on that. It was not raised with me by the workers themselves, the delegation I met with, but I am very happy to take some advice from the head of service if our requirements are too onerous.

MS HUNTER: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what representations have you made to your federal government counterparts who are large employers of ACT security workers to ask that they employ security firms that pay fair wages and that they do not impose overly onerous security clearance requirements?

MS GALLAGHER: I have not made any representations to the government. As I said, this has not been an issue that has been raised with me or, indeed, that I have been made aware of until your questions today that there was a lower standard of pay here.

I was aware that their wages are not in the high level, but I was not aware there was a disparity between jurisdictions as I believed that a federal award would have ensured consistency. Whether other jurisdictions are paying over award with EBAs is something I do not have a great deal of control over. But if this is a big issue for the workers in the security industry here, I am happy to look at it further.

MS LE COUTEUR: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

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