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Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Page: 7

Senator LUDWIG (Minister for Human Services) (1:16 PM) —I think the problem we then get into is the circularity of the argument. It is one where it is not unreasonable for the minister to indicate, for the reasons specified in the legislation, that someone is not performing their task. If so then the minister can have that power to dismiss. It is a power to dismiss, and what happens from that point on really becomes a matter of the particular circumstances. I did not want to entertain a hypothetical debate as to what might apply depending on the circumstances, because it will turn on the factual matrix of the circumstances at any particular time in respect of the parties, what the nature of the issue is and what the nature of the unsatisfactory work performance is alleged to be. Therefore, we could be here for quite some time trying to second-guess what those are. The provision is straightforward. If you do not agree to it then clearly you do not and we should move on. It is a matter that we think is a reasonable provision to put in the legislation.