Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 3 August 2022) . . Page.. 2224 ..
We know that our nurses and midwives are facing pressures to show up for others, day in and day out. Their work is often thankless and incredibly demanding. We know that nurses and midwives face challenging workplace conditions, which lead to low morale, burnout, stress, fatigue and poor mental health.
This petition calls on the government to urgently develop, invest in and facilitate a clear and sustained recovery plan for nursing and midwifery workers, with a focus on their health and wellbeing, including sustained and beneficial workplace planning, improvements to workplace safety, meeting the minimum mandated nurse and midwife to patient ratios, practical and effective wellbeing initiatives, and real and constructive improvements to workplace culture.
The key to keeping our society prosperous and ever growing relies on creating a safe, more comfortable, supportive, caring and compensated workforce environment. To be frank, I am amazed that so many nurses are still hanging in there, given what the workforce has been through during the last 2½ years. While I know that our nurses and midwives deserve more than thanks, I am grateful for the sacrifices they make day in and day out for our community. I say thank you.
The ACT Greens took a detailed policy platform to the ACT election, which included a commitment to mandated nurse and midwife to patient ratios, and we signed on to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation’s election pledge. We are keen to continue to work with our Labor colleagues in government to advance that platform.
We need to tackle the massive issue of workforce planning, skill mix issues and excessive overtime. I will continue to work hard, advocating for nurses and midwives to make sure they are being heard. I will continue to push our ministers and government to take action to better improve the workforce of nurses and midwives to make sure their needs are being met.
I want once again to address just how important these workers are for our community, and remind the community that they are humans, too, with feelings, emotions, needs and limitations. Their needs must be met to ensure that they have the mental and physical capacity to be strong and resilient; if they are not, the backbone of our hospitals and community safety is at risk.
I am proud to present this petition to the Assembly, and proud to be an advocate, ally and comrade of hardworking frontline workers through our trade union movement.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.23): I rise to speak briefly on the petition tabled by Mr Davis today. I rise also as a proud union member in solidarity with workers who are standing up for their rights in the workplace. I absolutely appreciate the ANMF ACT branch for bringing this petition to the Assembly and for workers advocating for their needs. It is incredibly important, and I also respect the role that petitions can play in ensuring that community voices are heard in this place.