Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 9 Hansard (17 September) . .
As far as the amendment goes, I find it interesting that Minister Rattenbury says he cannot support my motion. He says it is very important that we hear back about what steps and measures are being taken. I think he needs to read my motion, because (2)(c) says:
... introduce permanent measures that will significantly reduce and prevent incidents of violence and abuse directed at staff ...
The minister would need to outline the measures and steps that are being taken. I am not sure which part of the motion cannot be agreed to. The first part outlines a series of facts, and the second part only calls for a review of security to update the Assembly in November—which is in fact exactly the same as what the minister has said, because our last sitting week of the year will be in November—and to explain to us the program for implementation of improvements.
Going directly to the amendment, the government is attempting to strike off my entire motion in order to water it down. Nobody is claiming that there was not extensive consultation, as the minister has put at (1)(c), and extensive input from consumer, carer groups and staff on the design of the building and the model of care. (1)(d) refers to ensuring that patient safety is not compromised. Well, it already is. That is clear. That is why there has been a PIN issued.
In the "calls on" section, it asks the government to "ensure staff and patient safety at the adult mental health unit remains a priority". I would hate to see what it was like if it was not a priority, because if this is what a priority looks like, it is a great failure. In (2)(b) it proposes that the government report on "measures being pursued by ACT Health to enhance mental health services across the ACT". That is great, but unfortunately the government's own review is six to nine months late, apparently, by their own time frames. I suppose it is better late than never, but in reality perhaps it is time for a review.
We will not be supporting the government's watered-down amendment to my motion. I make a plea to the minister to act faster and fix the problem. It would not be acceptable in a pub, a school or any other workplace to say that the difficulties associated with the cohort of people that are being cared for mean that it is impossible to make it safe. It needs to be made safe. I know she claims that I am verballing her but that is the logical outworking of the things that she has said.
This is an area that the government has clearly failed in. It is not good enough. If it was your brother or sister going to work in this facility, or your mother, wife or husband, you would like to know they are going to come home in one piece. It is a basic responsibility of this government to fulfil its requirements as employers under the workplace safety act 2011.
That the amendment be agreed to.
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