Mrs ARMITAGE ( Launceston ) - I agree with the comments that have been made. Obviously this bill is bringing Tasmanian workers into line with other States with the exception of Queensland, the only one that still is not in line.
Ms Rattray - They do it a bit different up there.
Mrs ARMITAGE - They do, don't they? It depends which part of Queensland you are in, I believe.
Interestingly, I have had a lot of employees phoning into my office and requesting support for the bill but no employers. To the best of my knowledge not one employer has actually phoned my office with a complaint about this bill.
Ms Forrest - You should have asked them to ring.
Mrs ARMITAGE - Interestingly, my partner received a letter from the AHA, obviously being in hospitality, and he was told to contact his local Legislative Council member and speak to them.
Mr Wilkinson - He didn't contact the member for Windermere by any chance?
Mrs ARMITAGE - No, we live in my electorate, but the interesting part was he already thought that it was 10 years. Having been in public service many years ago he actually was of the belief that his employees were deserving of it at 10 years; he did not realise that it wasn't.
Ms Rattray - I hope he had been paying them, then, not only thought it.
Mrs ARMITAGE - I don't think any of them have actually left at this stage. Some have been there longer but they have not taken it yet so he has probably been quite lucky.
I thought it was interesting that some people who have worked in the public service just assume that the private sector is the same if they haven't really looked into it. I have not anyone who has come to me being an employer. I am disappointed that the TCCI were going to come and brief us and at the last moment they have not bothered and then we have had an eleventh-hour letter. I do not think that is good enough for an employer representative group. If they have concerns they have had ample opportunity to let us know. This bill has been around for quite some time and has gone through the lower House, so they had every opportunity to come to us.
I will certainly be supporting the bill. I know that some employers now will say it is an impost and, yes, it is always difficult where people have to find that money. One thing that Bruce did say was that the hardest part he felt was when you have employees who go off on long service leave and you have to pay their replacements, but then what do you do with that replacement? You don't like to just put them off because in hospitality you do not necessarily have people who can come in short term. They are looking for a job long term and when they have worked there for a few months to have to get rid of them is really difficult. So they are issues obviously, but I believe that everyone is deserving of this and, as the member for Murchison said, if we can encourage people to stay longer term and not just come and learn their skills and their trade then move on, I think that is worthwhile too. The incentive is there and I will be supporting the bill.