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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 November 2021) . . Page.. 3541 ..


It is a reflection of the success of the Young Workers Centre that I have called for the ACT government to explore using this model for a migrant workers centre. Such a workers centre could support these migrant workers in the ACT by educating them about issues regarding workplace safety and rights, assisting workers from emerging communities to address problems they encounter at workplaces, collaborating with unions and community partners to organise events and grassroots campaigns focusing on workplace rights for migrants, bridging language barriers that limit workers’ access to information, and, finally, promoting workplace rights on our media platforms, such as mainstream and ethnic community media outlets, so that it reaches those who need the information most.

Secondly, I call attention to digital data and technology solutions. The importance of records management has become abundantly clear to me in my role on the public accounts committee. During estimates I learnt that Housing ACT is reliant on a paper-based records system, which, in the current year, 2021, still blows my mind. The potential for time savings in investing in a digital system would make this system so much more efficient and effective and would improve outcomes for the community at less cost.

It makes me wonder what other instances within the government are reliant on antiquated or not-fit-for-purpose business systems. I therefore exhort those areas to bring forward budget bids that focus on enabling systems that allow us to achieve digital data and technology that are more than just an output class, but that are inbuilt into how this government runs.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.08): I am happy to speak today on the Appropriation Bill 2021-2022, as it relates to my shadow portfolio of the arts. The arts are a sign of a mature society. When we see painting, sculpture, literature, music, dance and other arts, they are a repository of our collective social memory. They can also be a catalyst for change in the future. It is great when we support our arts, and it has never been more important than now, after they have been so severely impacted by the COVID pandemic.

We have seen a lot of promises over the years from this government in the arts space, but what we actually need is the delivery of some of the promises. For nearly 20 years—not quite, but nearly 20 years—we have heard talk in Canberra of the Kingston arts precinct, as an example, but it has not come to anything much as yet. In the recently released statement of ambition for the arts by the Minister for the Arts, $79 million was allocated to the Kingston arts precinct. That is a reasonable amount, but it is not reflective of what has already been spent; and, after decades of discussion, you would have thought there could have been something more concrete—pun intended—to show for the Kingston arts precinct. Instead community members and groups have felt they were being ignored. They were not happy that they were forced to sign confidentiality agreements, and many of their concerns were left unanswered.

Given the lack of progress, out in the community there was significant concern about whether Geocon were able to deliver what stakeholders and community members anticipated. Of course, those concerns held by community members were well


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