Page 1597 - Week 05 - Thursday, 5 May 2016

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Other stakeholders also provide procurement officials with information. The business community provides procurement officials with information as well. You would not know that from listening to Mr Wall, but that is, in fact, the case. No MOU supersedes the usual procurement obligations. In fact, the MOU itself states this clearly several times. Clause 1.3 of the MOU, for example, says:

Nothing in this MOU is intended to oblige the ACT Government to act in any way in breach of any law or trade agreement.

Clause 1.4 says the agreement applies subject to the government Procurement Act 2001. It is quite frustrating and, frankly, disingenuous that the Liberal Party just ignores all of these facts. If you were making a procurement decision and you wanted to make sure that your decision appropriately took into account the safety and rights of employees, it makes sense that you would want to receive information from any entities that had useful information on these topics.

I was particularly struck by the remarks that Mr Wall made towards the end of his speech where he talked about the necessity of business confidence and the necessity of commercial in confidence. This is, of course, coming from a party in this place who are threatening to tear up a contract that the government validly signs and who moved a bill in this place yesterday to actually remove a range of commercial in-confidence provisions. It is worth reflecting on the irony and, in fact, the hypocrisy of that stance, particularly if Mr Wall is going to stand up in here and use those as key arguments in the proposition he is putting today.

I want to emphasise what I think is a very relevant point to this debate, that is, that neither Mr Wall nor any of his colleagues in the Liberal Party have even bothered to meet with ACT procurement to ask about the MOU and to ask them how it works or if it affects the usual procurement process in any way. I really think they should do that. Why have they not met with procurement when this is apparently such an important issue? It is because that would get in the way of them fanning the flames for a political issue.

That would get in the way of them making sinister implications, like the one in Mr Wall’s media release where he says the MOU gives unions veto power. It is one of those issues where they do not want to know the truth because it does not suit their political agenda. How about before you drag government officials to an inquiry and create a lot of fanfare, you actually try to have a briefing with them?

This motion and the suggestion of setting up a committee is one of the clearest examples I have seen of the Liberal Party wanting to use the committee process as part of a political crusade. Read the actual MOU. Talk to the procurement officials in government. Try to stop being wilfully blind so that you can bluster about unions and corruption and other such insinuations. It is hard to stomach the idea of setting up a committee and committing the time and resources that requires because the Liberal Party wants to ignore the facts for a chance to play politics with their favourite topics.

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