Page 833 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 6 April 2022
Mrs Kikkert: On the point of order, Mr Acting Speaker, as per standing order 118A(c) the minister has failed to provide an answer, an explanation or a statement to my question 647, particularly since we did follow up with her last sitting about this unanswered question taken on notice. She said that she was going to get back to me at that time. This morning we checked with chamber support; they did not receive the answer.
MR ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you, Mrs Kikkert. In line with that particular standing order, Minister, I wonder, are you able to provide an explanation as to why the response to the question has been so late?
MS DAVIDSON: Yes. Thank you very much for that. I do remember being asked about this in the last sitting period. I went upstairs that afternoon and checked on where it was at. I understood that it was working its way through the process, and you would have received it within the following 24 hours. I came back downstairs at the end of the day and provided that advice. If you have still not received it, I will follow it up and find out where things have gone wrong.
Mrs Kikkert: There were two questions that I raised on that day. The minister did say she was going to provide me with answers to those two questions. One of them is outstanding.
MR ACTING SPEAKER: Mrs Kikkert, we could go backwards and forwards here all day. You have it within your power to move a motion, as I understand it, to request a more detailed answer from the minister.
MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (2.44): Pursuant to standing order 118(c), I move:
That this Assembly note that the Minister for Mental Health has failed to provide an answer to question on notice No 647 by the due date and has failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for that failure.
It is quite disappointing that the Minister for Mental Health cannot tell the chamber why she cannot explain why question 647 is unanswered. The question was about the Dhulwa Mental Health Unit, including the number of staff, the job title, the work classification and employment type, and workload. In particular, we were asking questions about how many nurses and patients at Dhulwa had been assaulted.
It is very insulting to the nurses at Dhulwa that she has not been able to answer this question, especially since today, in a Canberra Times article, nurses reported more than 100 physical assaults over six months at Dhulwa Mental Health Unit. That was from the unions. They have said that nurses liken working at the facility to being sent into the killing fields. We asked this question over a month ago and it seems to me that the ACT government is trying to hide some really important information that the nurses and the public deserve answers to.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (2.46): As Mrs Kikkert has quite clearly outlined, we deserve an explanation. The standing orders are quite clear that an explanation should