Page 2994 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022

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The Government makes funding decisions as part of each Budget process, with consideration of the broader fiscal strategy and other budget priorities.

What are the government’s “broader fiscal strategy and other budget priorities”? Clearly, the priorities are not right if the committee has identified so many areas of need. This is a government that cannot even say yes to good ideas from a tripartisan committee. But then what have we come to expect from this government?

Canberrans deserve better. Canberra has the potential to be so much more if it were not for this arrogant, out-of-touch Labor-Greens government. Canberra can and should be leading the nation on so many areas, and the Canberra Liberals will continue to stand up for those left behind. (Time expired.)

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (5.38): As the Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, I am proud to speak in support of this budget. This is a budget that once again shows that this government is leading Australia and the world in protecting workers. Healthy and safe workers are the backbone of business and the economy. Investing in worker safety helps everyone. Unashamedly, the government will always stand up for the rights of workers.

The budget provides funding for a number of the government’s key priorities, establishing an office of industrial relations and workforce strategy, a new funding model for injury management, and our secure employment framework.

The new office will provide a unique opportunity to shape the culture and workforce practices in the ACT public service. It is being established to support the development of a more effective ACTPS, where industrial and employment policies are developed and delivered in a consistent and collaborative manner.

The need for strong and connected development and delivery of industrial relations and employment policies has never been more important for our public service. Our public service workforce arrangements are changing rapidly. This is in part due to the emerging skill shortages, community expectations and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. I refer also to the growth in size and diversity of the public service workforce and the transition to hybrid and flexible working arrangements, which this government supports. These trends are expected to continue, meaning that further changes to workforce arrangements and workplaces may be necessary. We are investing in the Office of Industrial Relations and Workforce Strategy to lead this work.

dditionally, the budget has established a new funding model for whole-of-government injury management services. The government is making it easier for injured and ill ACT public servants to access rehabilitation and return to work support. We are doing so by directly funding this important function rather than funding it through the cost-recovery arrangements between directorates, as has historically been the case. The associated cost would be fully offset by the reduction in directorate charges. These

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