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Monday, 29 October 2012
Page: 8200

Senator JACINTA COLLINS (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) (15:34): I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to the following bills, allowing them to be considered during this period of sittings:

Social and Community Services Pay Equity Special Account Bill 2012

Social and Community Services Pay Equity Special Account (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2012.

I also table a statement of reasons justifying the need for these bills to be considered during these sittings and seek leave to have the statement incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows—

Purpose of the Bills

The bills would establish a special account under section 21 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 to assist employers who are covered by Fair Work Australia’s Social, Community and Disability Services Industry Equal Remuneration Order and who are funded by the Commonwealth for the purposes of a prescribed program.

The equal remuneration order will provide wage increases ranging from 23 per cent to 45 per cent, phased in over eight years, in nine equal instalments from 1 December 2012 to 1 December 2020. Commonwealth supplementation would be delivered through funding drawn from the special account and paid to providers that employ the workers affected by the order.

Reasons for Urgency

The legislation needs to be enacted by 1 October 2012 to allow Commonwealth agencies to draw down from the special account and release funding to eligible employers, allowing the employers to meet their legal obligation to pay employee wage increases from 1 December 2012.