Page 811 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 6 April 2022

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These are Canberra’s workers that, apparently, Mr Gentleman and his government look out for and indeed, as he says, are the party for. It is not just our teachers, though, is it, Madam Assistant Speaker? It is our nurses. I quote from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation ACT:

On the back of so many assaults and with no sign of the government intervening to provide a safe work environment, one nurse has described working at the facility “like being sent into the killing fields”.

Another quote:

The situation at Dhulwa has not changed since the ANMF first raised safety and culture issues back in 2018 and it is well past the time for a significant intervention by government to keep our nurses safe.

And another quote:

Nurses and midwives across the public health system are fed up with the ACT government for not responding to their safety and workload concerns, but the situation at Dhulwa represents a particularly serious example of the government’s failure to respond where there is an imminent risk of a catastrophic event.

And another quote:

The government seems content to stand by while poor governance, confused patient management, inconsistent and opaque systems of work, appalling HR practices and toxic relationships have created an environment where occupational violence has become business as usual at Dhulwa.

This is a government that is allowing our hardworking teachers and our hardworking nurses to work in an environment that is unsafe. For this minister to come into this place and read out a pre-prepared statement spruiking, apparently, what his government is doing to keep Canberrans safe would be laughable if it were not so serious. Perhaps the minister, instead of standing there blindly reading pre-prepared statements and trying woefully to defend the indefensible, could actually take stock of the reality of the horrific work conditions that are being faced by our teachers and our nurses. Shame on Mr Gentleman and shame on this Labor-Greens government.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health, Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (11.38): I rise to thank Minister Gentleman for his ongoing commitment to improving workplace health and safety in our fine city and, in particular, addressing psychosocial risks in the workplace.

I would like to speak specifically about some of the psychosocial risks being experienced by nurses, particularly our mental health nurses in this city. Nursing is an incredibly hard job, even at the best of times, and mental health nursing is particularly complex. Over the past two years, those pressures have only increased, with the

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