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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (23 October) . .

Page.. 3563..

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.03 to 2.30 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Health, Minister for Higher Education and Minister for Regional Development): Minister Burch is absent from question time today on a personal matter, and I will take all questions that relate to her portfolio.

Questions without notice

ACT public service—bullying

MR HANSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, the people matter survey 2014 of 6,299 ACT public service respondents showed that between 10 and 20 per cent had experienced bullying and 20 to 30 per cent witnessed bullying. The Commissioner for Public Administration said that this shows "bullying remains an issue across the ACT public service". Chief Minister, why is it, despite the exposure of bullying in your public service, that "bullying remains an issue across the ACT public service"?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question. It was with my approval that this whole-of-government public sector survey was undertaken to examine issues of how employees felt about their workplace. It was using the Victorian government's survey methodology. It is the first time that it has been done.

It was important, in discussions with the former Commissioner for Public Administration, who had put to me that we should do a whole-of-staff survey, to really understand some of the issues from an employee's point of view. I do not have all of the ratings here before me, but from memory the ACT public service rated alongside state counterparts for issues within the workplace. Unfortunately, bullying and perceptions of bullying and harassment remains one of those issues.

What the staff survey allows us to do is report back to staff and continue to focus on this and to explore, through the evaluation of the RED framework, how we can provide as safe a workplace as we can for all of our employees. I do not think anyone in this place condones bullying. Unfortunately, it does happen in workplaces and there are workplace grievances between employees. I think you will find that in any organisation, large or small. But this has been an issue that has been identified by the survey for future priority and focus.

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