Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 October 2018) . . Page.. 4052 ..
make recommendations on areas where the committee was in full agreement. The committee has made six recommendations. Annex A and annex B of the report contain recommendations that not all members could agree upon.
On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank all of the witnesses and submitters for their contribution to this inquiry. I commend the report to the Assembly. I indicate that I will seek leave after other members of the committee have spoken to make some comments on the report at annex A, on which the other members of the committee did not agree.
MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (10.33): I thank my fellow committee members; they were the most fruitful committee members one could wish for. I also wish to thank Minister Stephen-Smith for all of her hard work on the secure local jobs legislation, as well as the stakeholders who contributed to making our inquiry such a success.
I will very briefly talk about the recommendations that were adopted by the committee. You can tell a lot about the government by its policies, but not everything. If it prioritises lower costs over workers’ rights and conditions, it is a pretty poor government. Short-changing workers or jeopardising their safety at any level of procurement should not be accepted. I am pleased to say that the committee agrees that the government should use its procurement power to enforce high ethical and labour standards.
The recommendations that are contained within this report are sound, and this bill represents some of the strongest pro-worker legislation in this country. This legislation will set the bar high for industry and stop the rorters and shoddy operators from abusing the taxpayers and their workers. This will level the playing field for honest small and medium businesses who do the right thing but are underbid by unscrupulous operators. It really should not be something that is up for debate. How can anyone argue that we should not prioritise the rights of workers to get paid properly and not get ripped off by dodgy bosses?
There are six recommendations in this report. They make a good contribution to the bill. I urge the government to strongly consider recommendation 6 and move towards public auditing instead of private auditing, as this will deliver better outcomes for all involved. This report clears the way for this legislation to move on to the next stage and, hopefully, become law.
MS ORR (Yerrabi) (10.35): The intent behind the Government Procurement (Secure Local Jobs) Amendment Bill 2018 has overall been supported by the community. Submissions to the inquiry into the bill referred to the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Tourism highlighted this. Across industry and representative groups, the consensus view was in support of the principle behind this legislation. The Master Builders Association, the Canberra Business Chamber, the Property Council, Rider Levett Bucknall and CTR Pacific commercial bricklaying show the wide agreement on the principle.
It is important to focus on the fact that we all agree on the principle of this legislation, as this provides the context for what we are doing here. Everyone—industry, unions,