Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 531 ..
The Chief Minister has downplayed the size of our buying power, but $1.8 billion is a substantial amount of buying power. We need to be sure when we are doing this that we have done our utmost to ensure that the products we buy in the supply chain are not produced in any way by slavery.
I cannot encourage the government and the minister enough to get on board with this message. I will be circulating to members when I get to it this week a copy of the Archdiocese of Sydney’s recommendations in relation to slavery-proofing their supply chains. I understand that the archdiocesan task force has spoken to the consultation group about this. I hope they will be able to learn from the work that has already been done by the Sydney task force and that as a result of this we actually get a good result in this place.
We need to get in front of the game. Both sides of the commonwealth parliament have made noises about this. We either get in front of the game and be part of the solution or we get dragged along and have something imposed upon us which is not necessarily what is desirable.
It is difficult in some ways and easy in others. The Chief Minister likes talking about being the first in some areas. Let us be the first jurisdiction in the country to do what we can to slavery-proof our supply chains. That would be a great thing. The Chief Minister and I have been corresponding on this for probably 2½ or three years. I know the Chief Minister speaks often about how this is important. He said this in letters to me. But I do not see much action and I do not see any action in the consultation paper that has come out from the minister. That consultation closes later this month.
I would like to see more in that space. I commend Ms Cody for her concern about high ethical standards. Those high ethical standards should have a bigger impact on where we buy and what we buy.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.49): I will speak briefly to the amendment. I welcome Mrs Dunne’s raising the issue around the archdiocese. I am glad she did because I actually forgot to mention this in my earlier remarks. I believe that the archdiocese briefed a number of members of the Assembly recently. I thought this was a very positive briefing. I simply echo Mrs Dunne’s remarks. This is a very important initiative being taken by someone who you do not necessarily expect it from.
I do not say that in any pejorative way. It is just that sometimes there are people who are not obvious campaigners that step into a space. But when they do, they do it with a degree of influence and, in their case, with a degree of significant size as well, and it can have a very positive impact. I think this is something we really should be keeping in mind during this process.
I am pleased that it has been part of the discussion today because it is an issue that does impact on people that are just so vulnerable. They do not even have that opportunity to be represented by a union or make their way to the Fair Work