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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 412..


MRS BURKE (continuing):

Depression in the workplace has been identified as the fastest growing mental health issue in Australia, and I know that we all know that. But bullying in the workplace is also a major issue right now. Dr Rob Moodie, CEO of Victoria Health and board member of depressioNet, has said:

Bullying makes people depressed and politicians in particular need to cope with this problem-parliament being the hotbed of acrimony that it is. The rise of bullying and depression in the place of work is something people often stew over in the middle of the night. That's why it is important that a unique service like depressioNet exists to confidentially help people at any time of the day or night.

Since June 2000, more than a million people have visited depressioNet. Many of these people do so on a regular, ongoing basis. There are many statistics here: 78 per cent of depressioNet users agree, and strongly agree, that depressioNet helps them learn new ways to help themselves; 75 per cent of users of depressioNet who are working state that using depressioNet has helped them to improve their performance at work; 62 per cent say it has helped them to better manage their symptoms and using depressioNet allows 87 per cent of users to understand that they are not alone. There are many more statistics, and I urge people to have a look at this website and support people like Leanne Pethick. It is depressioNet.com.au.

The second matter I would like to bring to the Assembly's attention is that 12 months ago I suggested that the government should adopt a good neighbour day. I uphold that view. In the Assembly today we have talked about policing issues and community problems or uprisings, if that is what you want to call them. I know that Mr Hargreaves got very dramatic when he talked about this. But I think there is a real role for government to adopt something like a good neighbour day. It could underpin the great work done by Neighbourhood Watch.

I was interested to see that in the Northern Territory there is a pamphlet called Good Neighbour. It is about participation, but it is broader than that. We need to see tenants working with private residents and with people in their local communities. In the immediate vicinity, Oaks Estate, Red Hill, Manuka, Kingston and Griffith, wherever we have multi-unit complexes, we could engage those communities to work together. Whilst I acknowledge and appreciate that the government is doing some things in regard to tenant participation, it is in isolation to the broader community. The government needs to work with the opposition. The minister seems to want to do that, but the boot is on the other foot. He wants to do it the other way around. I am asking him to work with me and I will work with him to make sure that we have a community that works together and fully engages at every level.

I ask the government to consider my media release of Sunday, 6 March 2005 about adopting a good neighbour day in the ACT. It might help to alleviate current problems.

Health care

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.58): Mr Speaker, it was obvious earlier that Mrs Dunne was very uncomfortable with what I was saying about her apparent disloyalty to our public service and that of her colleagues. She was uncomfortable when I reminded members of the continual attempt of those opposite to undermine those who deliver this


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