Page 666 - Week 02 - Thursday, 20 February 2020

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Mr Hugh McClure—tribute

MS J BURCH (Brindabella) (5.20): I wish the Editor of Debates well in her retirement. I also want to say farewell to Hugh McClure, who has been with my office for two years as a valued adviser and team member with a very kind and quirky personality. He is leaving the position to take up a great opportunity that will further his career. He will no doubt keep an active eye on ACT politics as the coming weeks and months ensue. I wish him well. To finish off by using his own pitch for when he was seeking to be school captain: woo Hugh!

Industrial relations—penalty rates

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (5.21): Tonight I rise to highlight the excellent work done on behalf of all hairdressers and beauty workers over the summer by their union, Hair Stylists Australia. In the culmination of a long campaign, Hair Stylists Australia have defeated attempts by the bosses’ cartel to reduce penalty rates on a Sunday from 200 per cent to 150 per cent and from 250 per cent to 225 per cent on public holidays, effectively keeping penalty rates for Sundays and public holidays for all hairdressers and beauty industry workers.

This reduction in penalty rates is for people who do four years worth of training. That is a longer course than many accountants, journalists, financial planners and other professions have to do. In comparison to those trades, hairdressers are paid appallingly. Back in the day, as I am sure many of you in this place have heard me say before, when I was a young apprentice hairdresser I earned $3.22 an hour for the whole first year of my apprenticeship.

You would hope that with the passage of time things would have got better. But in preparing this speech I looked up the starting junior apprenticeship award rate, which is now $11.35 an hour—that is, $431 a week. For those apprentices, an eight-hour Sunday shift is worth 90 bucks, give or take. That is about a 20 per cent difference in their pay. For a member of the Legislative Assembly, the equivalent pay difference would be around $680 a week.

For my mates who are still in the trade, that is a fair bit of coin. So congratulations to Hair Stylists Australia and a special thanks to the Australian Workers Union for all the support that you have provided. This is a fantastic story of protecting workers rights. I would be really grateful if we could tell this sort of story more often in this place. Unfortunately, we cannot.

Mr Rodney Frazer—tribute

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.23): I would like to take this opportunity to honour the memory of Rodney Leonard Frazer, Rod to his friends. Rod died on 6 February at the age of 84. As many would know, Rod was a proud descendant of the First Fleet, an active member of the board of the Southern Cross Club for many years and served on the board of ArtSound FM when the Southern Cross Club was a major sponsor.

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