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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 3004 ..

Ratios mean that nurses and midwives will have more time to spend with patients providing direct clinical care. Research shows that improved patient outcomes are seen through decreased complication rates, decreased re-admissions, and shorter lengths of stay in hospital. It also means that nurses and midwives enjoy greater job satisfaction, which will enhance Canberra Health Services and Calvary Public Hospital as better employers of choice.

In consultation with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, it has been agreed that ratios will be implemented in a phased approach across both public hospitals. Preparations are already well underway for the first phase to be implemented.

This budget included $50 million allocated over the next four years to recruit more than 90 additional full-time equivalent nursing positions through our health system for phase 1, so by the end of this financial year. With this financial commitment, we anticipate implementing ratios and increasing staff levels very shortly, with recruitment to commence as soon as the enterprise agreement is finalised.

We, of course, committed to implementing ratios at the last elections, as did the ACT Greens. I do not recall the Canberra Liberals doing that. Now they are claiming to be the champions of nurses, but they did not make this commitment. We did and we are delivering on it.

Environment—social cost of carbon

MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction. Minister, can you tell the chamber about the social cost on carbon introduced in this budget and what ACT government activities it will cover?

MR RATTENBURY: I thank Mr Parton for the question. I am delighted to have a chance to talk about this. The social cost of carbon is a concept that essentially measures the economic and social consequences of a tonne of carbon emitted into the atmosphere. This is, I guess, a developing area that identifies there is a true cost to that because of the way that carbon emission flows through into climate change. We know, of course, the impacts of climate change. The ACT has experienced them already, and they are anticipated to get worse in future.

The social cost of carbon is a way of measuring that, of putting a price on that emission. We are using it in the ACT government as a signal to our directorates of the consequences of their emissions. It will act as an incentive for directorates to reduce their emissions. The funds raised from that social cost of carbon will be used to invest in further emission reduction projects so that we can continue to reduce our emissions here in the territory. This is part of being a responsible government that takes these issues seriously. That is very clear with our own agencies—that is, as a government, we expect to set a very clear example in our efforts to tackle climate change here in the territory.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary.

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