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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 4 Hansard (23 March) . . Page.. 1293..


MS BURCH: I am quite happy to come back with some detail, but I also can share with Mrs Dunne here that the department has a strong bullying and harassment policy in place and that states that offensive behaviour, belittling or threatening behaviour will not be tolerated. Perhaps we need a harassment policy in place here for some of the shenanigans that go on.

Our department's policy has been in place for a long time; staff are aware of their rights, and management support staff through a range of difficult circumstances. The social workers within DHCS would cover disability, therapy, care and protection and a whole range of services that are stressful jobs, more stressful than any one of those opposite experience on a day-to-day basis. So my regard goes out to the staff within DHCS, and, as I have said, I will go back and find out the comings and goings of that cohort.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question?

MR SMYTH: Minister, as you check, could you also check whether any of these staff supposedly on stress leave were recruited from the United Kingdom and, if so, how many?

MR SPEAKER: Did you hear the question, minister? I did not.

MS BURCH: I did, and I will, but, can I say that if we are revisiting that argy-bargy around overseas recruitment to have a full staff contingent to work with our most vulnerable, if that is the best you can come up with, Mr Smyth, well, knock yourself out.

Community infrastructure

MR HARGEAVES: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Minister, could you update the Assembly on the recent investments made by the Labor government in community infrastructure across the city, please?

MS BURCH: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves, for your question. There would be few in the community who are not in some way supported by the Labor government's infrastructure policies and the services that are implemented by my department. These range from the thousands of children and young people that we seek to assist and protect to the over 100 multicultural communities, together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of the territory, that we support and assist. There are over 23,000 accommodated in public and community housing and in addition there are many thousands who receive concessions for essential services and those with a disability in their families whom we seek to support and empower.

The government has a strong commitment to supporting those people in a manner that recognises the stage of life and circumstances in which they find themselves and to facilitating an outcome which is focused on those needs. Providing the infrastructure, the bricks and mortar, is an important part of ensuring delivery of those services. For example, housing is critically important for developing sustainable communities. It


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