Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 September 2019) . . Page.. 3852 ..

MRS JONES: Minister, as part of your occupational violence strategy, which is under development, have you considered staffing and the supervision of detainees in hospitals, and whether it is currently adequate?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I will come back to the Assembly with detail in relation to that. What I can say in relation to the occupational violence strategy is that there has been a working group established, chaired by the chief executive officer, that meets regularly and includes more than 80 managers and staff, WorkSafe ACT, consumer and union representatives. The working group is responsible for the implementation of the strategy.

CHS has updated procedures relating to the classification of incidents to provide consistent and detailed data that can be used in occupational violence prevention strategies. External consultants, Aspect Consulting, were engaged to assist CHS in the development of the occupational violence strategy and associated tools, based on international best practice, which includes, as well as the strategy, policy and procedure, implementation and associated tools. Those documents were received in mid-July and consultation has been conducted with staff, unions and consumers prior to endorsement. The strategy is in the final stages of the endorsement process and includes the following areas: governance, prevention, training, response, reporting, support, investigation and staff-consumer awareness.

I will, as I said, come back to the Assembly in relation to the extent to which that includes the rare instances of someone in custody seeking to abscond. There are much more common instances of occupational violence which would be the primary focus for the occupational violence strategy, but I will come back to the Assembly with further information on the specific matter.

Drugs—overdose deaths

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, why have accidental deaths due to drug overdoses from stimulants such as ice tripled in the ACT over the past decade?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Hanson for the question. Drug and alcohol abuse and misuse is a very serious issue for our community. I am not sure that there is one single answer to Mr Hanson’s question as to why we would have seen an increase in deaths from a specific drug but we know—I think we are all aware—that the use of illicit substances and illicit drugs throughout the community changes over time. At some particular times it may be more likely to be heroin or cocaine and at other particular times, as we have seen recently, ice has become more of an issue.

If there is a specific answer in relation to specific drivers of those changes that Mr Hanson referred to, it would be helpful, in Mr Hanson’s supplementary, if he provided a data source for that particular piece of information. But I am happy to come back if there are further details that I can provide to the Assembly.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video