Page 3205 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022
Mr Cain: Sorry; I am predicting where this is going. I don’t want to hear an answer that says: “I gave this answer earlier.” I actually just want to hear the answer.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Cain, sit down. The minister was five seconds on her feet. Ms Cheyne.
MS CHEYNE: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Correspondence was sent out to all class A builders on the afternoon of 13 October, reminding them of their responsibilities and also requesting that they send through relevant information to the registrar addressing specific matters in relation to the design and work methods associated with deep excavations. Responses are due to that by 20 October. This is in addition to the registrar writing to builders on 8 August, following the WOVA collapse on 6 August.
The registrar will use that information provided, as flagged, to assist in targeting the proactive site inspections of class A developments that Access Canberra is currently undertaking. Access Canberra’s senior engineer has been directed by the registrar to undertake targeted assessment of construction sites that are at similar stages of construction across the territory to ensure that appropriate monitoring and controls are in place to manage excavation safety. This may also include the consideration of site conditions, including the ongoing rainfall impacts, the engineering design, and the construction methodologies. This correspondence has also been provided to the HIA and the MBA, and both bodies have been contacted by the registrar.
ACT Health—staff welfare
MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Health. I refer to media reports about your wellbeing fund for health workers, that the union has described as a bandaid solution which will not address significant workforce issues. This comes as a question on notice response—No. 90—reveals that health workers have reported 1,065 cases of mental stress in the RiskMan system for 2021-22, which is by far the biggest category for staff incidents. Why has your wellbeing fund failed to win support from the nurses’ and midwives’ union?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Castley for the question. Of course, yes, we have committed $8.75 million to a wellbeing initiative. That is being guided by, and co-designed with, staff across the health system. This is one part of a comprehensive response. I think we are all aware that the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, in the context of some announcements that have been made in other jurisdictions, and in the context of our current enterprise bargaining process, is advocating for more support for nurses and midwives.
That is exactly what they should be doing as the industrial advocates for nurses and midwives. But this $8.75 million fund is an important part of our broader approach to supporting the wellbeing of all of our healthcare frontline workers. It is being co-designed with the work force. In the announcement of that, I stood alongside a couple of very enthusiastic staff from Canberra Health Services who have been directly involved in that co-design process, talking about the ideas that were coming from