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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 November 2021) . . Page.. 3539 ..


Surely, the development of digital solutions and digital remedies should be encouraged. New South Wales is able to do it. Why are we so slow? Why are we behind? This is Canberra, in 2021. Who would have thought there would be people lining up for a government service for hours in Canberra in 2021?

We are in a digital revolution. It will continue. Why are we not at the forefront of digital services for the citizens of this territory? It must be able to be done. New South Wales has done it. We have digital drivers licences and working with vulnerable people cards. With e-invoicing, the commonwealth have foreshadowed that this is something they are committed to, yet when I moved a motion earlier this year, the government said, “We’ll look into it.” Why isn’t there a stronger commitment to effective service delivery for the citizens of this territory? The money is there. Is the will there? That is what I wonder about.

While we will obviously be supporting the appropriation, I hope the government is listening, not just to us but to the community, to those people who stand in long lines. I hope they are listening to them, and to those Access Canberra workers who are wandering along those lines to support those people out in the elements.

I advocate for a stronger uptake by this government of digital provisions, and to look at diversifying and securing our jobs market and, in particular, the private sector.

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) (5.01): My portfolio responsibility areas appropriated through part 1.5 of the bill relate to workplace health and safety, industrial relations and workers compensation services for the public and private sectors.

The appropriation funds will support initiatives to improve the territory’s injury management and workplace safety laws. The funding will also support a comprehensive review of the territory’s portable long service leave scheme, which will include consideration of how cover should be extended to more industry sectors. Consultation on these and other reforms will be coordinated through the ministerial advisory forums, which are supported and operated using the appropriate funding. The appropriation also provides staff to support the operation of the ACT public sector workers compensation self-insurer and includes comprehensive rehabilitation and return to work services for people who may be injured in the course of their work.

I expect that, in the year ahead, health and wellbeing initiatives will be particularly focused on the prevention of occupational violence, the promotion of mental health and good work design.

The government knows that safe and secure jobs are good jobs. To promote secure employment in the territory, appropriation in this class has supported the development of a labour hire licensing scheme and the Secure Local Jobs Code. The Secure Local Jobs Code is a nation-leading initiative. The government is committed to ensuring that businesses tendering for work with the territory meet the highest ethical and labour standards.


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