Page 4284 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013
MR CORBELL: I instructed my directorate to cease taking collection action in relation to incorrectly paid leave allowances until the matter could be finalised and resolved in discussion with the Transport Workers Union representing ambulance officers. Those steps were subsequently superseded by the referral of the matter to Fair Work Australia.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: Minister, why were you unable to resolve this issue necessitating this matter being brought to the Fair Work Ombudsman?
MR CORBELL: The matter was referred to the Fair Work Ombudsman by the Transport Workers Union. That is not a matter over which I or the government had any control and it was within the rights of the union and its members to refer the matter. The government continued to work with the union on these matters—
Mr Hanson interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson!
MR CORBELL: and the government acted, as I have indicated. When the matter was brought to my attention and it was brought to my attention that the directorate proposed to take recovery action in relation to incorrectly paid leave allowances, I directed the directorate not to proceed further with such action and to seek to negotiate an appropriate outcome with the Transport Workers Union on behalf of the ambulance officers concerned.
ACT Emergency Services Agency—management
MR COE: My question is for the minister for emergency services. Minister, in light of the Ombudsman’s findings of the ACT government’s unsafe recordkeeping practices leading to 65 ambulance officers being asked to pay back leave with individual amounts ranging from approximately $18 to $56,000 and an average total of around $6,000, how much of this has been paid back to the government?
MR CORBELL: Prior to action being taken to not pursue further outstanding amounts at the relevant time, a number of officers had voluntarily chosen to pay back leave. Others did not. The exact amounts are not immediately available to me, but I can make those available to members.
MR COE: Supplementary.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Coe.
MR COE: Minister, what specific measures has the government put in place to help staff to repay the overpayments?