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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3225 ..

Indigenous groups. Similarly, the multi-pronged actions to retain and enhance the ecosystem values of Canberra’s urban trees, particularly through collaborations with community groups, is to be celebrated.

We do know there is a lot more work to be done. Having good data about tree coverage and vulnerability to heat stress is an excellent start, as is prioritising of vulnerable areas for planting. This is the first step to equity of access to the cooling shade of trees in Canberra.

Now we need to turn the hard work into actually making it happen, getting trees planted and nurtured so as to cool our suburbs, make our suburbs greener and more beautiful. As I said back in March, I look forward to working together to realise the vision of making every Canberra suburb green and leafy, and walking through Gungahlin’s urban areas in years to come under the cool shade of a tree.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Mental health—mental health nursing

Ministerial statement

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (11.18): The ACT celebrated Mental Health Month in October, with a number of important events where we celebrated the individual, collective and collaborative efforts made across our community in support of our vision for a kind, connected and informed community that promotes mental health and wellbeing. During these events we also acknowledged the critical role that services play in the support and improvement of positive mental health. An important component of effective mental health services is a strong mental health nursing workforce.

In my previous statement to the Legislative Assembly of October 2021 I outlined the commitment of the ACT government to address the increased need for mental health support and wellbeing during and after lockdown. I noted in that statement the need to improve service access for people who are at increased risk of mental ill health and who experience barriers in accessing services. This requires a multifaceted response, including a well-supported mental health nursing workforce that works alongside consumers and carers in the development, implementation and evaluation of initiatives.

The ACT government is pleased to partner with the University of Canberra in the establishment of the Professor of Mental Health Nursing, a conjoint position with ACT Health under the auspices of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office. The focus of the Professor of Mental Health Nursing role is to strengthen the mental health nursing workforce through developing and supporting innovations in mental health nursing care, leading and facilitating mental health nursing research, and building the capacity of nurses to translate research evidence into clinical practice. A key initiative for this position will be the development of a new graduate certificate in mental health at the University of Canberra.

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