Page 1388 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 3 May 2016

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Madam Deputy Speaker, we are undertaking a major reform of the out of home care system to break the intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and improve long-term education, health and social outcomes for children and young people in care. I expect that we will begin to see significant evidence of change for children, young people and their families in the next few years, and I look forward to updating the Assembly on the progress of this.

We have listened to the voice of children and young people, and we are building a system where they are not in out of home care; children and young people will just be home.

Debate (on motion by Ms Lawder) adjourned to the next sitting.

Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Amendment Bill 2016

Debate resumed from 7 April 2016, on motion by Mr Gentleman:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.33): Madam Deputy Speaker, the opposition will be opposing this bill today, simply because the government has not made the case. Also, those who are directly affected by the scheme, should it go ahead, have put forward some sensible suggestions which, it would seem, have been rejected by the government. Yet again, we have a government that says it does consultation, but the consultation is simply ignored because the government is rushing through its proposals.

In the last sitting week when the bill was tabled I sought to send the bill off to an inquiry. That was rebuffed by the Assembly, as is its will. But members in the discussion said, “We understand there’s some more consultation going on. We’ll see the outcome of that consultation, and, if necessary, we can send it off then.” The inevitable has happened. The consultation was done. There is no change. The advice that I proffered on that last sitting day, that we really should send it then, given the time constraints, has come to fruition. The problem is that we have a government that is determined to have its way. It has the numbers, aided and abetted by Mr Rattenbury, so the bill will get up.

The bill does a number of things. First and foremost, it modifies the definition of “construction industry” to include supervisors. It says that building and construction work means working in the industry, direct supervision of a worker carrying out work in the building and construction industry.

This is a change, and it is probably a significant change. It has been protecting the rights of workers, particularly in the construction industry, where I think we all understand that you can only work for so long in a job before the job is completed. But supervisors tend to stay with firms, and one would question the necessity to have this catch-all approach. It is simply to put a further impost on business.

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