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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 2017) . . Page.. 3194 ..

Dickson site is secretly transferred to the Tradies group, a site that is ripe for development potential. All the while, the government is unable to state the business case or the purpose for this land acquisition. Despite being forced to provide information on these deals through a motion brought to this place by Mr Coe, supported by the Greens, questions remain. Why were there only three days between the exchange of contracts and the settlement? Why this site? Who is responsible? What was the land purchased for?

Madam Speaker, let us also not forget the motivator for this motion, which is a letter that I understand was sent by UnionsACT to Labor members of this place just a couple of weeks ago after two members thought to do the right thing by their community and attend an awards night that celebrates the ACT’s construction industry, hosted by the master builders association. That letter sought to demand that members of the government, backbench or frontbench, disclose any intention they have to meet or engage with the master builders association to their union masters before or immediately after engaging with the community organisation. That in itself is a restriction on the freedoms that the community place on us to do our jobs effectively and free from external influence or persuasion. That simply undermines the democratic process which we are part of.

In light of the unequivocal links to the union movement and a number of questionable decisions that are directly linked to the union movement, I and my colleagues in the Canberra Liberals believe that it is incumbent on this government and the Chief Minister, Mr Barr, to ensure that there are open and transparent processes in place when dealing with third-party organisations. There must be transparency and robust policies in place to ensure that undue influence does not reign supreme. In the interests of fairness, I commend my motion to the Assembly.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (10.52): I move:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes:

(a) the Australian Labor Party is Australia’s oldest political party, and that its history is intertwined with the history of Australia’s democracy and labour movement;

(b) Labor’s commitment to fairness at work;

(c) the importance of public information sharing and feedback from stakeholders and the community as part of the overall evaluation process on government tenders; and

(d) the need to ensure ACT Government procurement activity includes fair consideration of the rights of workers, in addition to ensuring providers:

(i) are accountable to the public;

(ii) promote quality; and

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