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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2021) . . Page.. 1862 ..


more as well. It was not a voucher scheme where we sought equitable distribution of vouchers or vouchers for everybody. What it was was a scheme where we wanted to ensure that money was flowing to businesses but also at a rate of stimulus where people had to spend their own money to use the voucher.

Our economy is performing very well; all of the statistics point to that. But it has been lumpy and there are some sectors doing better than others, and there are some businesses within what otherwise seem to be highly performing sectors which report that they are struggling. So this scheme, as identified through some of the quotes I used this morning, generated excitement for our small businesses. It generated greater awareness, it generated new spending and it generated spending above the $2 million of the funding that we had put to the scheme—being a $5.1 million injection into the ACT economy into local businesses and local jobs.

Work health and safety—psychosocial hazards

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety. Minister, what is the ACT government doing to prevent psychosocial injuries in the workplace?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for her question, for her strong interest in workplace safety across the ACT, and also for the work that she did in bringing the motion on workplace sexual harassment and psychosocial hazards to the Assembly a few months ago. Work is progressing well on this motion because, unlike the Federal government, we do not promote people who have been accused of sexual harassment. Instead, we are working to develop a culture of safety and accountability in workplaces across the ACT.

PCBUs have an obligation under the work health and safety legislation to provide safe workplaces, and this includes providing protections for psychological health as well. This duty requires, where practical, the elimination of exposure to psychosocial hazards, including sexual harassment. However, we must also work to focus on addressing our psychological health risks or hazards under supporting work health and safety regulations and the codes of practice.

At the recent meeting of workplace safety ministers, I was pleased to vote in support of amending the regulations under the model work health and safety laws to deal with psychosocial hazards. This was an important first step in moving towards protection against psychosocial hazards, as Ms Orr has mentioned in her motion. This was a key recommendation of the Boland review—an important win for workers across Australia.

MS ORR: I have a supplementary question. Minister, has WorkSafe ACT implemented any measures to assist workplaces regarding psychosocial injuries?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for her supplementary question. WorkSafe ACT is taking psychosocial hazards very seriously, and this work is being led by the work health and safety commissioner. As part of the joint initiative by work health and safety regulators, WorkSafe has contributed to the development of the People at Work


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