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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1118 ..


safety policies have been developed that require workplaces to implement the highest level of controls to eliminate or minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

In addition to managing risk associated with COVID-19 itself, changed working arrangements required a strategic, targeted, whole-of-government approach to identifying and addressing psychosocial risks and supporting employee wellbeing. Looking to 2021-22, work health and safety priorities continue to be centred on responses to the pandemic, including transitioning guidance as a hybrid, and other changed working conditions embedded in workplace practices.

WorkSafe is improving its operational effectiveness and efficiency with revised corporate and regulatory governance frameworks, improvements to record management, and the implementation of a new case management system. The Work Health and Safety Commissioner and her team are doing a very important job—and they are doing it extremely well. In this, their first year of independent operation, they have achieved a great deal, and they are working to keep Canberrans safe at work and to crack down on dangerous and dodgy workplace practices. WorkSafe and the ACT government are working to protect the rights and entitlements of workers in the ACT. This important work is a priority of this government, and I am proud that we have a strong independent regulator that supports this.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

ACT Gambling and Racing Commission—Part 1.20

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.56): I would like to speak to the appropriation in my role as shadow minister for gaming and community clubs here, irrespective of the fact that much of the cut and thrust on a policy level is handled in the JACS space. I just figure that I have to limit the number of times that I stand up in here so that security do not remove me. I certainly listened very closely to the words from the minister, Mr Rattenbury, yesterday as I sat in the Speaker’s chair during that debate. I do applaud the minister, genuinely, for his engagement in this space. He has improved dramatically, Madam Speaker, on his predecessor, Mr Ramsay. Well, he has improved just by turning up. In many instances he has turned up and faced the music, and I think he should be commended for that.

I would suggest, though, that Mr Rattenbury’s vision of a timetable for clubs to transition away from gaming is very much a utopian view. The reality is that if clubs transitioned away from gaming in the speed that Mr Rattenbury is hoping, many of them would close. I would also note that much song and dance has been made about the funding that has been given to a number of clubs in the form of government grants as part of this ongoing program to assist clubs to transition.

As this program continues to roll out—although this does not necessarily relate to this particular post-COVID year—most of its funding comes from the clubs themselves in the form of brand new taxes, taxes on clubs who face one of the toughest years that they have ever faced since they were established. As we move forward with this program, we will see the minister giving clubs their own money back, and not all clubs. Of course, it will be only the clubs who have successfully gone through the


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