Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 March 2017) . . Page.. 862 ..
To add to that, this decision is frankly insulting. It is an insult to the 28,000 Canberrans who work in the sectors affected by the cuts. That is why I ask this Assembly to support this motion, for the ACT government to call on the federal government to intervene on behalf of workers affected by this decision and to ensure workers do not suffer financial hardship.
I would hope that the Canberra Liberals support us in this call. I am impressed that they are even in the chamber. The Canberra community deserves better than these cuts, which is why I urge all members of this Assembly to join me in this motion.
MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (11.46): It seems that the ACT Labor Party is more interested in being the federal opposition than being the ACT government. Each sitting week we have seen those opposite concentrate this chamber’s time on commonwealth issues. I am the first to admit that these issues are important, but they are simply not in the sphere of influence for this chamber. Those opposite are determined to grandstand and win applause from their commonwealth comrades rather than concentrate on the issues within this jurisdiction.
There are many issues impacting Canberrans locally, issues such as the cost of housing, utility bills, parking, growing transport disadvantage, to name just a few. These are the issues that partly or wholly are in the scope of the ACT government.
Today’s motion does not mention the real history of the Fair Work Commission and the commission’s ruling. We know that Labor set up this commission and the process. We know that the commissioner has union links. We know that Bill Shorten said he would support the commission’s ruling. In actual fact, we also know that Bill Shorten said that Justice Ross is eminently qualified to lead Australia’s independent industrial empire. Mr Shorten went on:
I am confident that under Justice Ross and his team, FWA will continue to build on its excellent reputation for impartial arbitration, expert advice on workplace relations issues, an important role in strengthening the Australian economy and the practical enforcement of entitlements for employers and employees.
However, Labor are not interested in these facts.
The opposition would much rather discuss some issues that this Assembly has carriage of. That is why today the Canberra Liberals have put on the agenda the plight of SHOUT, an organisation that represents numerous other organisations that represent thousands of people who are doing it tough or who need support in one form or another.
We have also put on the agenda the strong need for immunisation policies in the territory and for heritage issues here as well. The Canberra Liberals will continue to focus on issues that are within the remit of this Assembly.
Of course, we are not surprised by Labor’s tactics. In fact, I imagine that they will be reading from this playbook for years to come. However, the Canberra Liberals will