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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 4 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1095..


relatively well compared to other jurisdictions around this, but there is still room for improvement. So we are pleased to work with the commonwealth on strategies to improve school attendance where rates are below 80 per cent.

Because of our small system with small numbers of Indigenous students in particular schools, we did make the point that we did not want to see necessarily anyone's privacy intruded upon as part of the reporting processes. In fact, there would be a number of schools where there are attendance issues in respect of non-Indigenous children. So we did not want to set up a scheme where we were unfairly targeting particular families in a small system. With that caveat in mind, we will work with the commonwealth on making sure that we are improving on our Indigenous attendance at school.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Chief Minister, what discussions took place in relation to paid parental leave?

Ms GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. This was looking at how to implement the commonwealth's paid parental leave commitments where they intersect with state and territory parental leave arrangements. Whilst it sounds easy, it is tricky. There are different entitlements in different states and territories. We have a very good entitlement here of 18 weeks. Depending on the federal budget and in what shape the scheme is funded at that point, we are operating on the understanding that there is a $100,000 cap now. That will impact on some women where the ACT scheme may be more advantageous than the commonwealth scheme at 26 weeks capped. So there are some issues that we need to work through.

Ultimately for me, we understand that the commonwealth scheme will be coming in. We want to work with them. We want to make sure it is done in a cost-neutral way to us. I think there are some good reasons for us to maintain the employee-employer relationship and abide by the commitments we have in EBAs. Subject to the bilateral discussions with the commonwealth, we will work with them to implement the commonwealth paid parental leave scheme here in the ACT.

ACT Fire and Rescue Service—alleged bullying

MRS JONES: My question is to the minister for emergency services. Minister, is it true that following complaints from female employees at ACT Fire and Rescue Service, your directorate was forced to investigate bullying, sexist and misogynistic behaviour in the service?

MR CORBELL: It is true, Madam Speaker, that, regrettably, there have been a number of instances of reports of bullying and sexist behaviour in the ACT Fire and Rescue Service and that my directorate, at my instruction, conducted an investigation into those matters.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.


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