Page 1087 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022
MS DAVIDSON: I have talked previously about some of the things that have been implemented to improve safety at Dhulwa, and I can provide some more details on notice if you wish. These things that we are putting in place are things that are being done in conversation with WorkSafe ACT and with the ANMF, and we will continue to look at ways that that can be improved. It is very important that any changes that are being made in the workplace are being done with the nurses involved and engaged in that work, and that is what we are endeavouring to do.
MS CASTLEY: Minister, what do you say to Dhulwa nurses who are still afraid to go to work today and tomorrow?
MS DAVIDSON: I am very pleased that we are able to work on this inquiry that will be independently chaired in consultation with the ANMF to make sure that the terms of reference reflect what they are looking for out of that inquiry. As I have said many times, it is really important that decision-making on any inquiry that addresses the concerns the nurses have raised must be done by working together with their union. We can always achieve more by—
Ms Castley: I have a point of order. I was not asking about the inquiry. I asked about what you have done for today and tomorrow while we are waiting for the inquiry?
MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Davidson, to the point of that question.
MS DAVIDSON: Yes, thank you. While I have been briefed by Canberra Health Services on what was happening during February, it was really important to me that I also heard directly from the nurses and understood what they were experiencing in their workplace and what they were asking for in terms of change. So on Wednesday 30 March I welcomed a group of around a dozen nurses together with their ANMF representatives to talk to me about what they were experiencing at work and what they would like me to do about it. I committed to get back to them with some conversations about what kind of process we could put into place. I am very pleased that we were able to have that conversation with the ANMF and with the nurses last week, and I went back out there to their workplace to have that conversation with them in their work site to make sure that what we were planning on doing was headed in the right direction.
While that is all happening, we are continuing to engage with WorkSafe ACT, and to engage the ANMF in those conversations as well, to address the immediate safety issues that they are experiencing.
Dhulwa Mental Health Unit—safety
MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Mental Health. Minister, the nurses union say that the situation at Dhulwa mental health facility has not changed since they first raised safety concerns four years ago, in 2018. The Canberra Times has reported that in 2018 several nurses were punched in the face and kicked in the head during multiple assaults by a patient, which ACT Policing investigated. Minister,