Page 2466 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2022

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grateful and truly values the efforts of our community service providers and health professionals who have helped to keep safe and assured those Canberrans at the most risk.

We know that supporting our community must come through supporting our sector. It has been our duty and honour to serve the Canberra community through delivery of programs such as the provision of PPE and RATs to the sector as we continue to emerge from one of the most distressing periods in human history. It is when we work together as a community that we not only survive but thrive.

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (6.06): I am pleased to say a few words in response to Minister Davidson’s motions about COVID-19. The pandemic has affected our lives in many different ways and for many people it has transformed their lives. Sickness has invaded our homes over the past few years in a way we have never been used to. It has been confronting, particularly for Canberrans caring for older parents and older parents in aged-care homes.

What Canberrans need during a heightened time of concern and anxiety about their health and wellbeing is clear and timely information. People look to government to know what is going on, what the current health guidelines are, and how they affect them and their family. Government has a big responsibility to get it right, to share facts and to communicate well, meaning clear advice and guidance that does not leave people feeling confused and concerned.

Minister Davidson referred to large numbers of Canberrans feeling physically and mentally exhausted. Yes, Minister; they are. My particular concern is our nurses and healthcare staff. Just yesterday we had nurses protesting outside this building, saying “We are tired, we are sick; we are burnt out in every sense of that term. This is an emergency. How much more are we expected to take?”

When we talk about large numbers of Canberrans feeling physically and mentally exhausted, our nurses and healthcare workforce must be front and centre. Yet, their government has let them down so badly, so very badly, at this time, which is appalling. The fact that exhausted nurses are forced to rally outside the ACT Legislative Assembly speaks volumes about how this government has turned its back on our nursing profession at a time they most need support, during this pandemic when our health system is in crisis.

This motion calls on all members to work towards community recovery and protect those Canberrans who are most at risk. The Canberra Liberals agree that community recovery must be a priority and implores the government to do its job properly and start valuing our hardworking yet exhausted nurses and treating them with the respect they deserve.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (6.09), in reply: In closing, I thank Ms Castley for her ongoing support of healthcare workers. The ACT government absolutely acknowledges the particularly difficult time that our healthcare workers

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