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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 4879..


their treatment, we are doing some further work around that. I think several years ago services at Oaks Estate were contracted to Queanbeyan to provide that service, and that is not done now. It is done through Civic. So we are doing some further work around that.

MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, how do Mental Health ACT staff provide follow-up care for people who are homeless once they exit one of the acute mental health wards, and how often is follow-up achieved?

MS GALLAGHER: That answer would depend on the nature of the individual needs of the particular client. If I can again use the Civic mental health team as an example, there is a lot of outreach provided. It is a fairly small team but they know their clients very well, particularly those ones that need constant follow-up. They do raise issues from time to time about being able to find people and provide them with their medication but I do not think that is unusual.

I do not think Mental Health ACT can solve people's housing issues. I think we are part of the answer. If there are ways to improve how we do that in terms of our relationship with the non-government sector, with Housing ACT and with other emergency housing providers, then we will continue to work on that. Mental Health ACT cannot solve someone's homelessness problem.

Industrial relations—work safety

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations. In July 2009 the then ACT Minister for Industrial Relations went on the record to say that he opposed some of the proposed nationally harmonised OH&S laws, including maintenance of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and restrictions on union rights of entry. Mr Hargreaves said in the Canberra Times that he was not happy because it sent the wrong messages.

Last week Premier Keneally announced that she wanted to opt out of parts of the agreement that NSW signed with all the states and the commonwealth to implement nationally harmonised work safety laws specifically, among other things, in the area of union right of entry. Minister, is the ACT government going to keep its commitment to nationally harmonised OH&S laws? If not, why not?

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, we are. We have argued our case around the table in ministerial forums, particularly in relation to the disagreement that Premier Keneally is having around the right for third-party prosecution. We lost that argument around the table and we believe that there are benefits from moving to a harmonised OH&S scheme. When we lost that argument, we accepted that. We put up the good fight but we are part of the national harmonised OH&S scheme and we are not intending to follow the path of NSW.

MRS DUNNE: Supplementary question, Mr Speaker?


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