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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 7 April 2016) . . Page.. 1249 ..

In the last couple of days I have received correspondence from the Aged Care Guild and Bupa Aged Care as a joint letter. I thank them for their input into this process and I would like to briefly address a couple of these comments and requests, although as they were recently received; not all can be addressed here today. I can confirm that the funds which are received by the authority are, indeed, solely put aside for payment of long service leave and that the levy is adjusted depending on the health of the independently managed fund. A representative from the community sector already sits on the board of the authority, and the aged-care providers will be represented as part of the scheme.

The levy is already set at a true risk rate, including the assumption that not all employees will work in the industry for long enough to claim the entitlement. It is also set after consideration of the scheme’s assets, including investment return and actuarial advice. Transparency of funding and fund modelling is already available through the ACT Long Service Leave Authority annual report. I hope to work to mitigate or explain additional issues which have arisen in this correspondence but which we have not had time to consider since it was received on Monday.

Madam Speaker, these amendments recognise the importance of the sectors and their workforce to the ACT community and seek to improve attraction and retention of workers in the future. Extending the portable schemes for the community sector industry and contract cleaning industry to these workers will enable a broader range of workers to qualify for long service leave in future and will ensure that the territory remains at the forefront of protecting workers’ rights and assisting to build these essential industries. This is the right thing to do and will have a marked positive impact on those who work in these industries. I am very pleased to present the bill, and I commend it wholeheartedly to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Amendment Bill 2016

Proposed referral to committee

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.38): Under standing order 174, I move:

That the Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Amendment Bill 2016 be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry and report.

Madam Speaker, this is an important bill. It will have big impacts on a number of industries. It is something that the Assembly has had very little notice of. If members consult the Chief Minister’s legislative program that he announced in February, this bill is not included. Indeed, the first official notification of this bill really appears on the post-cabinet agenda that came out late on Monday afternoon.

There is considerable concern in industry about this bill. For instance, we heard the minister say—it is on page 5 of his speech—that the contract cleaning scheme was designed to be narrow rather than broad but now they want to broaden it out. There are also other issues at play here. Therefore, the appropriate place to have some further discussion about this is in a committee.

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