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Mrs ARMITAGE ( Launceston ) - Madam President, I was not going to speak either but with some of the comments that have been made I feel I need to just make a short comment. I agree that loss of jobs is devastating to everyone but what we need to do is make it as painless as possible for those people that are affected. Whether it is the private sector or the public sector it does not really make any difference. This is public money and it does not matter where you work so I think the hard decisions need to be made.

I do disagree with the honourable member for Pembroke. I cannot see how you can say people are being sacked. If you are being sacked you are not generally offered redeployment and you are not generally offered six to nine months to find another job. Most people I know that get sacked might be given two weeks in lieu of notice, if they are lucky.

Dr Goodwin - They will be sacked if they can't get another job after six months or can't be redeployed.

Mrs ARMITAGE - I do not believe that is sacked. I think there is a difference. Probably if you look in the dictionary you will see the definition of 'sacked' is not actually being offered another position but to me, private sector or public sector, it does not make a lot of difference. We have had a huge growth in the public sector and, as I said, it is very difficult for anyone to lose their job but 12 months becomes 15 months, just like six months almost becomes nine months. I take on board what the honourable member for Apsley says, the longer you leave it the longer you drag out the agony. Sometimes short and sharp and it does not matter what it is, you know what is going to happen.

Mrs Taylor - It's not exactly short and sharp, is it?

Mrs ARMITAGE - But it is shorter and sharper than 15 months. At least it is giving people -

Ms Rattray - It's slightly shorter and slightly sharper.

Mrs ARMITAGE - And sometimes people miss opportunities as well because they have this time and they think they have 12 months and the Government might change and all of a sudden the job might still be there if they hang on. There is this comfort zone thing. They are afraid to take something else because they are feeling comfortable but if they have to do it and all of a sudden they know that there is an end period, they take the opportunity.

I am a great believer in things happening the way they are meant to happen and I really believe that at the end of the day things do happen often for the best. While this now seems devastating to some people, in 12 months time they might think, 'Thank goodness I only had six months, because look at the job I have now that I would not have had if I had waited 12 months.' I will be certainly supporting what we have before us. I think six months, going out to nine months, is a reasonable lead-in time, whereas 12 months going out to 15 months - to put families in that situation, and listening to the honourable member from Aspley, who has experience herself and can talk from the heart, I think it is very important that we move on, and that we assist the Government. I think that comes from being independent, too. I am not going to object purely because I am not a member of the Labor Party. I will look at it as I see it, and I believe that is important.

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