Page 407 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

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MS LAWDER: How can your government promote that it is committed to improving water quality when your directorate is responsible for directly adding to the poor water quality of our lakes?

MR STEEL: I will take that as a comment, Madam Speaker; there is no question in that.

MR PARTON: Minister, when will you ensure that maintenance tasks such as mowing start implementing processes to protect our waterways and stormwater assets?

MR STEEL: Well, Madam Speaker, we have a range of different ways that we help to improve the quality of our waterways through the practices that we implement in relation to public open space. These include mowing, but they also include the more than 250 gross pollutant traps which are cleaned on a regular basis to stop rubbish moving into our waterways, and we will continue to undertake that work, of course.

We do need to make sure that we continually mow our public open spaces, that is part of an important amenity process for the community, and we have had to undertake more mowing over the last year because of the wet weather conditions that we have been in. And that does mean that there are large amounts of clippings that are, unfortunately, retained on site. Of course, we are trying to minimise the amount of that material that goes into our waterways, and the guidelines around the practices for the maintenance of our open spaces ensure that that occurs.

ACT Health—nurses and midwives

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, how will nurse- and midwife-to-patient ratios benefit our healthcare staff and their patients?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Pettersson for the question. Of course, the implementation of ratios is something that has only ever, in Australia, been done by a Labor government, and we are very proud to be meeting our election commitment.

The ACT government is delivering on this commitment, of course, because nurses and midwives told us what they needed and we listened. The implementation of nurse- and midwife-to-patient ratios will not only improve the quality and safety of care that our community receives but it will also improve the lives of our hardworking and dedicated nursing and midwifery workforce.

Increasing the number of nurses on a shift will allow nurses more time to deliver clinical care and support for their patients. Research shows that ratios can significantly improve outcomes for patients, with decreased hospital acquired complications in the clinical area.

Implementing ratios will also create safer workplaces for the dedicated nurses and midwives working in our healthcare system. Ratios will guarantee more staff on wards and an increased mix of skills on each shift. There will be a dedicated team

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