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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 November 2021) . . Page.. 3835 ..


We know that insecure work is one of the single biggest predictors of workplace injury. As ANU researchers have reported, insecure workers come to work sick, continue working whilst injured, conceal occupational health and safety accidents, and forgo health interventions. It is critical not to blame the victims of injury here, especially where vulnerable workers are concerned. Employers must assume the lion’s share of responsibility for creating safe workplaces.

For this reason, I am very pleased that this week all labour hire operators in the ACT are required to hold a licence. We hope that the proactive outreach to all industries known to use labour hire continues. We know that the biggest risk comes from businesses who are not connected to their industry community through peak bodies, unions or other organisations. We look forward to hearing more about how the commissioner is targeting these under-the-radar areas where workers may not be receiving the protection they are entitled to.

Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. The impact of the pandemic has left them routinely subject to exploitation in their workplaces. Without access to income support, they are heavily reliant on employers to maintain their incomes. A high level of insecure work among young migrants and the conditions of their visa arrangements mean that speaking up has been near impossible; in a workplace health and safety context, that is very problematic. The Greens would love to see greater focus, outreach and proactive protection for migrant workers in Canberra in the future.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

ACT Gambling and Racing Commission—Part 1.20.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.33): I am pleased to see that the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission is going about its business with the diligence that we would expect. The Canberra Liberals have no argument over the appropriation in this space. I, for one, am pleased to live in a jurisdiction which takes gambling harm seriously. We are blessed in the ACT to have the clubs as the primary operators of poker machines; for a long time, they have taken their role very seriously in regard to protections for those who could be harmed by gambling.

I still question what we have achieved by the ongoing machine reductions in regard to gambling harm and what the actual outcomes are there, but I am pleased that the minister is genuinely engaging with the industry. I would hope that, as we move forward in recovery from the worst of the pandemic, concessions can be given to allow the very survival of some clubs which are sailing very close to the wind.

One of the points I cannot resist making is that Minister Rattenbury is here, as the responsible minister for the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission. The minister has oversight of the Gambling and Racing Commission, yet he has made it abundantly clear that if he had his way he would be banning the sport of horseracing in the ACT. The Chief Minister can laugh all he likes, but I would direct the Chief Minister and others to Mr Rattenbury’s Facebook page for Melbourne Cup day this year. He said:


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