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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 7 April 2016) . . Page.. 1253 ..

But it is impossible to give notice on something about which you know nothing. It is the first time we have seen the bill. When I see words in the speech to the effect that various sections of the existing scheme are being broadened to capture more and more individuals, I do have concerns. When I get a letter from the Canberra Business Chamber stating that they think it is inappropriate to put aged care in with the community sector long service scheme, I do have concerns. I have had approaches from the organisations that the minister says he is working with. He says that it is all hunky-dory. But then when they say, “We would prefer, one, it not to happen and, two, if it does have to happen we prefer that we have our own scheme”, I do have concerns. However, the only time that we get to address this is when we see the bill.

So do not bleat about nobody speaking to you when you have not spoken to anybody in this place about what you are doing. It is important that we get this right. Aged care is a big issue. The workforce demands on aged care will grow. For those who do not know, there was a Senate inquiry that said a whole lot more work needs to be done on the portability of long service leave. So there are recommendations at the national level about this, but we have got a government who, without really any genuine courtesy or notice, are haring along on their own agenda.

They did not have this in the Chief Minister’s legislation program that was tabled only two months ago. After two months, we suddenly have all this new legislation. It is interesting. The Lifetime Care and Support (Catastrophic Injuries) Amendment Bill that was tabled this morning is on Mr Barr’s agenda, but the planning bill and the long service leave bill are not. If anybody is playing games here, Madam Speaker, it is the government.

Mr Gentleman: You were told on Monday night.

MR SMYTH: We were told what? Oh, we were told late Monday night. We were told late Monday night that there was a long service portable leave bill coming. That is all it says. It says that there is a bill coming. Now we have seen the bill it raises some flags, it raises some concerns. Some bells are going off. We get a letter from the groups that are directly affected by this, and the government’s response is, “Suck it and see. We will have some more consultation but we are going to pass it anyway.”

It is interesting that the legislature is excluded by this just-in-time legislation approach by this government. You really question whether it is a truly ethical way to behave in regard to getting support for the legislation from this place. The Latimer House principles and the review of the principles say, “Include the legislature, and particularly the committee system, more in the development and discussion of legislation.” Here is an opportunity. If members opposite who always spout on about Latimer House are genuinely interested, if you want people involved, if you want to have an ethical approach to the development of legislation, here is the perfect opportunity to have it and have it early.

The offer is that the minister will go away and do some more consultation. We may or may not get back to it later. The problem with that is that he might consult all of May. This might get to PAC after the May sitting. That extremely limits PAC’s ability, because in June most of the PAC committee—three out of the four members of

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