Page 1826 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 June 2022

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MS CASTLEY: Minister, are there any reports of similar behaviour in other departments and, going back to my initial question, why was it allowed to continue for a decade?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I think I answered Ms Castley’s previous question. As I have indicated, and as the freedom of information request has responded to—and it has been reported in the media—there has also been some work in relation to the intensive care unit at Canberra Hospital. It has actually been very publicised and known through the culture review process that there were particular areas that were variously identified as hotspots or areas of concern, where there were those deep dives that were occurring. There was that very detailed work that was occurring with those teams to understand what the fundamental basis of those culture issues were. There were a range of things that have been determined through those processes, and work with those individual teams to improve that culture.

I also want to say that there are areas of Canberra Health Services and areas of Calvary, our health services generally, that have outstanding culture. One of the things that has been done through the culture review and through responding to the culture surveys that have been undertaken is to identify not only those areas that clearly have a problem, where they might be in a culture of blame, but also those areas that are in a culture of success—as well as what we can learn from those areas, and how those staff and the people and leaders in those areas can share their experiences of how they are building a strong and positive culture across our organisations.

That has been the exact work that we have been doing in response to the culture review, and in response to the surveys that have been undertaken. The survey that was undertaken in November last year had the best overall outcome for Canberra Health Services that has ever been achieved, since these surveys commenced in the mid-2000s. So we are on an upward trajectory, but we do know that we still have a long way to go.

MR CAIN: Minister, apart from the perpetrators of inappropriate behaviour, what are the consequences for the managers who allowed this behaviour to continue?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: It is very difficult to respond to a question like that, which specifically seems to be in relation to an individual area of the organisation. As I have just indicated, in each of these different areas there are different reasons that poor culture has developed and continued over time. Obviously, management has a key role to play in addressing those issues. Mr Peffer has been clear that no-one in the organisation is too senior to face the consequences if there is poor behaviour occurring in their particular area and they are in some way responsible for that.

Federal government—child care

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Early Childhood Development. Minister, how will the federal Labor government’s plan for cheaper early learning positively impact Canberra families?

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