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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 909 ..

vibrant ACT arts community on their resilience and hard work during the COVID pandemic in the last year.

We had some questions during the hearings about some of the grants programs. For example, the Tuggeranong Arts Centre felt quite disadvantaged by what they received, compared to exponentially higher grants in some other areas of Canberra, which has made their operations quite difficult. I look forward to scrutinising further grants to make sure that there is no continued bias, perceived or otherwise, against my electorate.

The government have done some good work in the arts space over the last year. I would like to congratulate them on that. There is always more to be done. There is a constant tension about the spending of government, as in public, money. There is a lot more that can be done to support our struggling arts community, who have been so impacted by COVID, but in the context of today’s discussion I will leave it there. I look forward to much greater involvement in the next budget, later this year, in trying to ensure that our arts community is well supported in the next round of the budget

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (6.18): The ACT government is delivering strong protections for working Canberrans, and I am proud of the government’s record in providing safe and secure jobs. This work is being continued through the 2020-21 budget. The government continues to deliver on its commitment to ensure that Canberra workers are treated fairly. With the introduction of the secure local jobs code, the ACT government strengthened its procurement practices so that government contracts are only awarded to businesses that meet the highest ethical and labour standards.

In this budget cycle, the Secure Local Jobs Code Advisory Council completed a comprehensive review of the operation of the secure local jobs code. The advisory council’s report on the review was delivered to me in December 2020. The recommendations are currently being considered by government and further announcements will be made in due course.

The government has made it clear that it only wants to do business with ethical employers who do the right thing by their employees. Through the secure local jobs code and our procurement practices, we will hold businesses who do not meet their industrial and legal obligations to account. Ethical businesses have welcomed this approach, as the government has created a level playing field for companies competing for government work.

The ACT government is committed to maintaining the size of the ACT public service and to providing secure, ongoing employment. As part of this commitment, the ACT government established the ACT public service insecure work task force. The task force is systematically reviewing temporary and casual employment to assess whether there are jobs that could be made permanent. Where jobs are identified for conversion,

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