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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2021) . . Page.. 636 ..


convention concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the hours of work. The Australian government is yet to ratify the ILO convention and associated recommendations to eliminate gendered violence at work.

Sexual harassment and other psychosocial injuries impose a cost to Australian businesses and the Australian community in the workplace beyond immediate trauma and inequity. These costs include lost productivity; staff turnover; negative impact on workplace culture; resources associated with managing and responding to complaints, litigation and workers compensation; reputational damage; negative impacts on workers’ health and wellbeing; negative impacts on employment and career progression; and significant financial consequences to individuals and families.

Workers compensation data from the last three years shows that the mental health claims from time off work make up approximately five per cent of the total lost-time injury claims in the ACT private sector workers compensation scheme. It is important that the government work with employers and their representatives, along with industry, to provide safe workplaces in the ACT. I look forward to doing just this. We will find a suitable forum for this consultation to occur.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (4.25): I thank Ms Orr for bringing this motion to the Assembly, and for the contributions of other members on workplace sexual harassment and the associated psychosocial risks. I would like to particularly focus my comments on clauses 2(h), (i) and (j) of the motion, regarding government partners and contractors, with my responsibilities for Procurement ACT and broad ACT government procurement policy.

I would also like to acknowledge Ms Orr’s work, as minister, on the Charter of Procurement Values, which is an important document in this regard. The charter outlines the ethical considerations our government wants to see from potential suppliers and aims to reflect community standards in the ACT. Released in September last year, the charter outlines six key values for territory entities to consider in the management of all procurement activities. Key among them are fair and safe conditions for workers and transparent and ethical engagement. To meet the requirements of the Charter of Procurement Values, territory entities must actively consider whether opportunities exist in their procurement activities to build capacity for people who face social barriers and barriers to equal opportunity in employment, such as people with a disability; culturally and linguistically diverse people; children and young people; older Canberrans; women; veterans; and LGBTIQ+ Canberrans. It also requires entities to procure from suppliers who demonstrate inclusive practice in employment decisions, career development, business operations and engagement with customers and clients; and procure from social enterprises or businesses owned by under-represented demographics, for example women-owned businesses.

Areas of the ACT government undertaking procurements are encouraged to consider how the goods or services or works being procured will support these values, and how they will help all Canberrans to contribute to and participate equally in investing in our city.


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