Page 1240 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 29 March 2017

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position where we have committed to maintaining the size of the ACT public service and maintaining real wages through the current enterprise bargaining process. By contrast, commonwealth public sector workers have this week passed the dubious milestone of more than 1,200 days without an enterprise bargaining agreement, due to the hard-line approach to bargaining the federal Liberal government has taken. Thousands of Canberra workers have been stuck without a pay rise for years.

Of course, the ACT government also responded through its agencies to the job cuts that were made after the 2013 election. For example, the CBR Innovation Network worked with redundant commonwealth public servants, including through its public sector launch pad, and other steps were taken as well, to ensure that public servants were in a position to move to entrepreneurship and small business. Many former public servants, of course are in a good position to develop social enterprises and the ACT government’s social procurement strategy supports purchasing from social enterprises where the businesses are not for profit. The ACT government is actually taking proactive steps to support commonwealth public servants being made redundant under the federal Liberals.

Mrs Jones: Can I ask a question of clarification from the Speaker, please? I do not necessarily expect an answer right this minute but, based on the administrative orders, we normally try to work out whom to ask which questions of. The Chief Minister has asserted in his responses across the chamber today that the executive can decide—presumably the inference is at any point in time—who can answer which question. Can you provide the Assembly with some clarification as to whether we are meant to follow the administrative orders or the decisions of the Chief Minister in the chamber each question time?

MADAM SPEAKER: It is my understanding that the administrative orders allow that, and there have been questions that you have put to a minister that actually belong in another minister’s portfolio area. In this case the question was around workplace safety and industrial relations. While the Chief Minister, as Chief Minister, has responsibility, it is with the naming of the executive, the Chief Minister and the relevant minister to answer the question.

Mrs Jones: Yes, just for clarification, though, can that decision, based on the administrative orders, be changed in the chamber by the Chief Minister, and do the administrative orders hold any weight? This is what I am trying to understand.

MADAM SPEAKER: The administrative orders are that: administrative orders. The practice of question time is determined here. If the Chief Minister allows another minister to answer the question, it is acceptable.

Mrs Jones: Could I please ask that at some stage, when you have got the chance, you give us some sort of background as to where that is covered in the standing orders so we can fully understand it.

MADAM SPEAKER: I am happy to, Mrs Jones.

Mrs Jones: Thank you.

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