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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 26 September 2019) . . Page.. 3933 ..


As we enter the 2019-20 bushfire season, my advice from our expert public officials is that our city is better prepared than ever before to deal with bushfires. However, if the worst should occur, the territory has the capability, resources and emergency plans in place to deal with each circumstance as it arises. I commend this plan to the Assembly and thank our volunteers and staff, without whom we could not keep our city safe.

In closing, while I am here today talking about the bushfire season and the preparedness that has gone into it within the ESA and across ACT government, an important part of this is looking after the mental health of our emergency services staff and volunteers. Making sure that the women and men of the ESA have good mental health is just as critical as having enough firefighters and fire trucks to respond on the front line.

With that in mind the ESA is designating the month of October, internally, as ESA mental health month, with a number of activities to be conducted throughout the month to support that theme. It is hoped that ESA mental health month will encourage ESA personnel to seek help and self-care by removing the stigma of mental health in the workplace. I present the following papers:

Strategic Bushfire Management Plan 2019-2024.

Commencement of the 2019-20 bushfire season and the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan Version 4—Ministerial statement, 26 September 2019.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the ministerial statement.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Health—independent review into workplace culture

Ministerial statement

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children, Youth and Families, Minister for Health and Minister for Urban Renewal) (10.23): I am pleased to have to have this opportunity to update the Assembly on the work underway to develop a positive culture within ACT public health services, in line with the commitment made by the former Minister for Health and Wellbeing on 16 May 2019.

Members will recall that in tabling the government response to the final report of the independent review into the workplace culture within ACT public health services—the culture review—the minister committed to providing members of the ACT Legislative Assembly with a biannual update on progress against the recommendations.

Madam Speaker, we will shortly mark one year since the establishment of the ACT Health Directorate and Canberra Health Services as separate entities. Much of


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