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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 464 ..


MS STEPHEN-SMITH: There are a range of support services that are available to staff right across the ACT public service, specifically in our healthcare services. Those include the standard employee support services, but also respect and development officers—independent people you can go to to report specific instances not just of occupational violence from patients or family members but also in relation to other matters that might occur in the workplace.

People also have access to work health and safety and WorkCover arrangements. Workers compensation arrangements are fairly standard in being able to address some of those issues. If someone has a psychosocial injury or a psychological injury as a result of an injury in their workplace, there are a whole range of other measures that come into play in relation to both supporting those people to recover and return to work and providing financial support through workers compensation if that is what is required.

MRS JONES: Minister, given the occupational violence strategy you discussed, why is this issue, as you just said, becoming a more and more significant issue—in your own words?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Thank you for the supplementary question. There are some behavioural factors where we seem to be seeing an increase in occupational violence, but I think it is also that people are noticing it more and not accepting it as part of the job in the way that doctors and nurses and their support staff have previously done, in the same way that other professions have accepted that this is just part of the job.

Part of the awareness raising about occupational violence, both by unions and by management, has been to make sure that staff understand that this is not acceptable and it should be reported so that something can be done about it, so that appropriate responses can be made, both at the time and subsequently, to support staff.

We are seeing much greater awareness of the issue of occupational violence. That is contributing to the increased reporting that we see. People are being encouraged to report. They are being encouraged to report not just the most serious physical instances of occupational violence but also things that they may not previously have considered to be occupational violence but which do pose a threat to their physical safety or their psychological safety.

It is about a whole-of-service response to ensure that people feel safe and that people work together to understand how to de-escalate when there is a risk of violence occurring and how to respond to it.

Light rail—stage 2A

MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, in recent weeks it has been revealed that light rail stage 2A has cleared a major hurdle, with federal environmental approvals being signed off. Now that stage 2A is a step closer to becoming reality, can you explain to us exactly how motorists, commuters and pedestrians will be impacted by construction along the proposed route from Alinga Street, around London Circuit, to Commonwealth Avenue Bridge?


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