Page 5439 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2011

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regularly. The committee is chaired by the Director-General of the Health Directorate. It includes representatives from the private maternity sector, Calvary hospital and Canberra Hospital. I am pleased to advise that at this point 60 per cent of the recommendations are finalised and plans are in place for the remaining recommendations.

MR HANSON: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: What action, if any, have you taken to persuade the Minister for Health to release the secret report into the obstetrics unit at the Canberra Hospital?

MS BURCH: As I mentioned earlier, I have regular contact with my colleagues on a range of matters and I have absolute confidence in the Minister for Health. (Quorum formed.)

Community sector workers—equal pay

MS HUNTER: Minister, what is the ACT government doing to support the federal government’s announcement to fully support the claim for equal pay for community sector workers?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Hunter for her interest in this equal pay case. We have certainly not seen any interest from those opposite.

The government welcomes the intention of the Australian government to provide $2 billion in support for increased salaries for community sector employees across Australia. These employees provide vital services to the most disadvantaged in our community. Support for these workers will mean better services to those vulnerable people. The Australian government contribute approximately 30 per cent of the funding to the sector nationally, and confirmation that they will pay their share is welcome.

The government has supported the conduct of the equal remuneration case since its inception in March last year. In our submission to Fair Work Australia in July this year we said that the ACT did not accept a situation which considers that gender forms the basis for decisions about remuneration. Our views on this are unchanged by the Australian government’s announcement, and we continue to support the elimination of gender-based factors that limit the remuneration offered to workers in the community sector.

Our determination is reflected in strong government support in the ACT and in better pay outcomes for workers in the ACT in the community sector than in most other jurisdictions. The ACT government have maintained this during the case and will take a responsible attitude of funding the impact of this very important case. Our views on this are unchanged by the Australian government’s announcement; our intention remains the same now as it has always been.

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