Page 3648 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 22 October 2013

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commission has knocked back the RCA’s claim, and restaurant and catering workers will be very relieved to hear that once again their penalty rates have been protected.

Had the decision gone the other way, there could have been dire consequences for many in our community. Students would have to take longer to complete their studies. Many others would be unable to pay their rent each week. And many people would be forced to seek second and third jobs to survive.

This is the fourth time in five years that the restaurant and catering association has threatened the penalty rates of low paid workers. I honestly reckon that it is about time they got the message and left penalty rates where they belong—in the pockets of low paid workers.

This is a serious issue for our community. Approximately 4.2 million Australian workers are entitled to be paid penalty rates. Of them, 650,000 are employed in restaurants and catering, with many thousands employed in the ACT hospitality industry. I would like to congratulate all of those workers and their unions who have fought so hard once again to ensure that they are fairly remunerated in their work.

Respite care

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Children and Young People, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (5.47): I want to briefly acknowledge the creation of a new organisation, Duo, which is an amalgamation of Tandem Respite centre and Home Help Service. I want to acknowledge that Alistair was also at the official launch.

The merger came into play on 1 July, and it is a great success story. I would like to read from Australian Community Management Magazine. It has identified the merger as almost a textbook success. It says:

Tandem Respite and Home Help Service were well established, highly regarded and successful services. The amalgamation was not undertaken out of necessity but from the belief by the key stakeholders that a combined organisation would be able to provide even better quality services and be more sustainable than if the two were separate. In other words, it was not a forced relationship or one of convenience.

Duo Services is the outcome of more than one year of discussions, planning and preparation by the boards, CEOs and staff of Tandem Respite and Home Help Service in the ACT. In many ways, the amalgamation process was a near textbook operation and other community service organisations could well benefit from the Duo Services experience.

That is a great recognition of those two services. If this is not on your magazine table, I suggest you get it and read through this quite comprehensive process and the outline about what they did. In conclusion, the magazine says:

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