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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4061 ..

navigating that they should get in touch with my office and we will support any and all event proposal that have merit in the coming years.

ACT public service—work arrangements

MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Chief Minister. Canberra’s small business sector is trying to resurrect after being smashed during lockdown. Working from home is not an option for most of them, who are desperate for customers walking through the door. With students now back at school, our hardworking small business owners need our 24,500 ACT public servants back in the offices to stimulate trade and are concerned about some reports that the directorates might not come back until next February. Chief Minister, when will Canberra’s public servants return to the office?

MR BARR: They will not; they will adopt a hybrid working model from hereon in. If Mr Milligan followed the budget statements he would be aware that the government is investing in a number of ACT government workplaces, new hubs, in town centres. We are decentralising our employment, so it will no longer be the case that directorate X will be in location Y. People will be able to work across a number of different ACT government office buildings and they will undertake hybrid working arrangements that meet their needs and the needs of the business unit that they work for and ensure that they can deliver the services that are required.

Across the ACT public service this varies, given the nature of employment. Clearly, staff who work at the hospital, the largest single employment centre for ACT government staff, will need to work from the hospital. But as it relates to white-collar public servants who can work in a variety of different locations, they may well be working out of the Gungahlin ACT government office building if they live in Gungahlin and that suits them and they may well be working out of the Woden ACT government building if they live in the Woden area and that suits them; similarly, in Tuggeranong, in Belconnen, in the city and in Dickson. So there will no longer be an operating requirement of compulsory attendance, if you like, at an ACT government office building nine to five. The world has changed, Mr Milligan, and we are changing with it.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Milligan.

MR MILLIGAN: Chief Minister, how many of the ACT’s 24,500 full-time public servants have already returned to the various sites?

MR BARR: Most work either in health or education, so their employment is distributed across the city, as I have mentioned: in health, the hospital, Calvary, walk-in centres and other community health facilities and, in the education system, across—what, 100 public schools, minister for education?—nearly every suburb in the ACT. In relation to white-collar directorate staff—

Mr Steel: The buses are still running.

MR BARR: Indeed, the buses are seen all over the city. Mr Milligan seems to think that there are 24½ thousand white-collar public servants who work in the building

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