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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 November 2021) . . Page.. 3834 ..

they have maintained their dedication and provided high-quality advice. I am in awe of what these teams can achieve and have achieved.

Without exception, in this budget each of my portfolios is represented with initiatives that are thoughtful, that go to the heart of who we are and who we want to be as a city, and that drive us forward with an economic recovery for the benefit of all. Budgets are not easy; preparing budget cases is not easy. I want to thank the teams behind these initiatives for their collaborative work with me in proposing them, securing support for them and now putting these initiatives into action. I will be genuinely excited to see these initiatives come to fruition in the coming years.

Finally, I want to thank Treasury officials Faheem and Britt, the Treasurer’s office, my staff and the expenditure review committee for their engagement with me. This is a budget that we can be very proud of. I commend it to the Assembly.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

ACT Executive—Part 1.17—proposed expenditure agreed to.

Icon Water Limited—Part 1.18—proposed expenditure agreed to.

Office of the Work Health and Safety Commissioner—Part 1.19.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (11.29): I speak briefly to indicate that the Canberra Liberals place a high priority on workplace safety. Workers should be able to achieve dignity and self-reliance through work and should be able to travel safely to work and, more importantly, be safe at work and travel home at the end of their day. During estimates we heard about the work of the Work Health and Safety Commissioner, and I want to commend her and her staff for their commitment to safety at work and efforts to ensure that workers have fulfilling and long-lasting careers.

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (11.30): On behalf of the ACT Greens, I thank the commissioner and all her staff, who contribute to making Canberra a safer place to work. Physical and mental workplace health and safety should underlie all other aspects of work. This means that all workers have the right to be safe and feel safe at work. For this reason, we welcome the extra investments that have been made in the workplace health and safety commission and the proactive approach to inspection, education, compliance and enforcement that the commissioner is undertaking, particularly in the residential construction sector.

I was really pleased to hear that the commissioner has made much progress towards the parliamentary agreement commitment towards regulations to protect tradespeople from silica dust. Silicosis is a terrible and insidious disease. Independent expertise is a critical aspect of effective regulation, and it was encouraging to hear that the commission has hired an occupational hygienist and a regulatory toxicology policy officer to help with this highly technical work, as well as doing some very innovative research and partnership work to monitor exposure in workplaces. I look forward to hearing further updates about this effort.

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