Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 2017) . . Page.. 3200 ..
MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (11.08): I rise today to speak in favour of the amendment and against the original wording of Mr Wall’s motion. It seems like we cannot go a single week in this place without an ideological attack from those opposite on unions and working people. Their ideological obsession on this issue puts them out of step with the wider Canberra community. It is just another example of why they are not ready for government. The Chief Minister just gave a detailed explanation of the reason that this government is pursuing a secure local jobs package. Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith also spoke yesterday in a ministerial statement about the importance of this policy.
We seem to see reports on a regular basis of Canberrans being negatively affected by job insecurity, unsafe work environments and wage theft. This package will promote job security and ensure that government contracts are awarded only to companies that meet the highest ethical and labour standards. That is what Canberrans expect.
There seems to be an insinuation in several points in the original motion that implies something rather sinister. Subparagraph 2(b) seems to suggest that members of the ACT Labor Party and the Greens may be acting under external undue influence. That implication is ridiculous. The codified links between the Labor Party and the trade union movement go back over a century. Trade unions are not external to the Labor Party. They are an intrinsic part of it. Our support for working people and their right to collectively organise are the key foundations of our party. To suggest that our policies on these matters reflect anything other than our longstanding, united belief—
Mrs Jones: Oh, so you have been corrupt forever.
MR PETTERSSON: is patently ridiculous. Now, Madam Assistant Speaker—
Mr Gentleman: Point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Lee): Mr Pettersson, there is a point of order.
Mr Gentleman: The interjection from Mrs Jones is completely unparliamentary. I ask that she apologise and retract that interjection.
MRS JONES: I withdraw.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mrs Jones, thank you. Mr Pettersson.
MR PETTERSSON: Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker. Our policies are clearly written by our members, but the suggestion that parties in this place might be affected by donations is an interesting one. As Mr Wall has just said, “follow the money”. I think this should be explored further, as some members of the Canberra Liberals seem particularly concerned about it.