Page 814 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 6 April 2022
broad community of impact here. The minister could not even express a sense of concern for them, except high-sounding and general statements.
I was a teacher for just over 20 years, in both the public and the non-government sector, teaching maths and more broadly across different curriculums in three different states. I have never encountered anything resembling what we have heard about at Calwell High School. It is astounding. It is happening in the capital of this great country. It is not some disadvantaged, constantly strife-torn area of the world; it is in the capital of Australia. It is in a very prosperous city. It is a very well-resourced city. The tax base the government has to draw on is very generous and yet we are seeing a failure that I never thought I would ever hear of, not just in this city but in this country.
The lack of support and outright disinterest from this Labor-Greens government, including all those who spoke to the no confidence motion and in support of Minister Gentleman’s ministerial statement, is distressing to me. Canberrans need to take note of this. Are they actually concerned with what is happening on the ground?
We saw the media release on the nurse safety issue at Dhulwa and we have got the unions, both the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation and the teachers’ union, expressing grave concerns about the management of our schools and the mental health unit. Normally, you would think they would be strongly supportive of this government, the Labor-Greens government, but the extremity of behaviour and concern has driven even them to express outrage. Shame on you.
The government has known about concerns at the mental health unit since 2018, and at the high school since before then as well. I cannot believe that this morning this minister had no space in a ministerial statement on workplace health and safety to accommodate some statements about Calwell High School and the Dhulwa Mental Health Unit. Shame on you, Minister. Shame on you.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.48), in reply: I am deeply troubled by the remarks from those opposite regarding this ministerial statement. This update is, in part, to address important reforms, including the ACT government’s response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s respected national inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces that was tabled in this Assembly in August last year. I am disappointed that the Canberra Liberals’ position on this reflects the federal Liberal government’s approach to this important issue.
Mr Cain: Nonsense. It reflects the concerns of Canberrans.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Orr): Mr Cain, you were heard in silence. You can hear other people in silence. Pay them the same courtesy.
Question resolved in the affirmative.