Page 912 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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The ACT government will continue to advocate on this issue. I have been speaking with my state colleagues right around the country—transport ministers, ministers for the environment and energy—about how we can advocate together to make sure that the commonwealth acts on this critically important issue, one that we know from the research is contributing to death, contributing to disease, in the country. The commonwealth government needs to wake up and make a change. This World Health Day acknowledges these important facts that they themselves have acknowledged are causing health problems for our communities, for our cities, here in Australia.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (11.51), in reply: In closing the debate, I want to express my disappointment that none of the Canberra Liberals chose to engage in the conversation about this very important matter or take the opportunity to thank our healthcare workers on World Health Day.

One can only conclude from this that the Canberra Liberals are a bit confused about the connection between our planet’s health and the health of Canberrans and that they really do not quite know what to say about it in the context of a federal election. I guess that is not surprising. They purport to understand the impact of climate change and the importance of a clean environment for our community, but, given that their federal Liberal colleagues do not, they obviously have chosen to stay quiet on this matter today.

I want to express my disappointment and, I am sure, the disappointment of Canberrans that the Canberra Liberals have not taken this opportunity to join with the government to recognise the importance of these issues and to support the government’s efforts in joining the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals network and continuing to pursue, in collaboration with our national and international partners, a climate resilient and emissions-reducing health system, a better environment for all Canberrans to protect their health, and, as I said, to thank our healthcare workers for the really important work that they do every day. Despite this, I continue to commend the motion to the Assembly and I hope that the Canberra Liberals will support the motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 11.53 am to 2.00 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (2.00): The Chief Minister will be absent from question time today. I will take questions in his portfolio areas.

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