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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 66..


DR BOURKE: Today's rostered question time is for the Minister for Industrial Relations. In this case, the member's question relates to the arts. I would like to advise Mrs Dunne that the minister responsible for the arts is in fact Ms Burch. However, I am in a position to respond to the question on Ms Burch's behalf.

The government takes all bullying allegations very seriously. Bullying and intimidation are behaviours inconsistent with the duties and obligations of public servants and will not be tolerated. Claims were made by Ms Helen Moore during the hearing into the Fitters Workshop that members of the music community had been pressured by government officials on public comments that they might make. Unfortunately, the allegations made by Ms Moore were very general; no names, no dates and no details were provided. Even Ms Moore described it as "second hand"and "hearsay".

I understand that the Minister for the Arts obtained absolute assurances from officials in her directorate and from her office that no such pressure took place. Without further and more specific information, there is little more that can be done.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, as the Minister for Industrial Relations, and the person responsible for bullying in this context, do you condone the bullying comments of the former Chief Minister, reported in the media, when he accused musicians of acting like wild dogs, going around Canberra sniffing out buildings that could be reserved for musicians?

DR BOURKE: These were the comments of a private citizen.

ACT public service—workplace bullying

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, have you taken regular briefings on the progress of the current ACT public service culture and behaviour consultation? If no, why? If yes, what is emerging in relation to workplace bullying in the ACT public service?

DR BOURKE: The questions posed to me today as Minister for Industrial Relations demonstrate a lack of understanding among members of the split of ministerial responsibility. Once again in this case the question relates to the public service administration. I would like to advise Mr Doszpot that the minister responsible for the public service is in fact the Chief Minister. However, I am in a position to respond to the question on the Chief Minister's behalf.

I am advised that the current ACT public service culture and behaviour consultations are continuing. The work is being undertaken by the head of service and ACT public service commissioner as I speak. While I am advised that the level of participation is excellent and the process to date is considered very productive and worth while, I have not been briefed on the outcomes because the process has not yet concluded.

MR DOSZPOT: I am not quite sure whether we are not wasting the time of the Assembly with all of these questions, quite frankly. Minister, have you reviewed, or are you reviewing, the government's policy on workplace bullying in the ACT public


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