Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2314 ..
north-west Belconnen-some incredibly loud bumps and thumps which sounded almost like artillery and mortars.
It seemed it had not improved on years gone by. I can well understand the fear, and the problems caused in our community as a result of that. It is clearly something we all need to look at. It was also brought home to me by the reaction of my dog, so I can see where my colleagues are coming from.
Our animals do get flustered by fireworks. I have a dog which is going on four years of age. It is meant to be a kelpie/border collie cross but I think it is more kelpie/labrador. He is a big dog, yet rather gentle, with a nice disposition. I have never before seen the dog affected by Queen's Birthday weekend fireworks. He likes to come inside; he goes outside when he is told; and then stays outside.
The dog's name is Bluey. I could not get this large lump of a dog outside on the Monday. I thought, "This is peculiar. Is he being surprisingly disobedient?"I think it was the fireworks. The problem remained for a couple of days afterwards. After a few days, when there were no more bangs, thumps or anything, Bluey went outside when he was told. What struck me was: "Well, okay-maybe that brings home how disruptive the June long weekend was."Clearly, further reforms are needed in that regard.
My colleagues have addressed some of the financial aspects. Mr Pratt ably talked about the large cost involved in destroying fireworks. As a committee, we considered issues around the safe securing of fireworks. That matter is terribly relevant. I hope the government is taking all that on board. There are issues in relation to that, but I just mention those points.
I close by saying that WorkCover has gone through some fairly difficult periods. There is a strong need to redo a number of parts of the act and the regulations. Fundamentally, I am heartened by the figures. They show, generally, how effective the act is in respect of occupational health and safety and issues such as that in our territory. It has a pretty good record, from which we can all take heart.
MRS BURKE(4.45): I do not know if this has been said, but I would like to congratulate the minister. The fact that we have a female minister responsible for ACT WorkCover is excellent. This is an area that we would all have seen as a male dominated area. I congratulate Ms Gallagher on that.
Looking through the highlights that are to come, there are a couple I would like to pick out. I give congratulations with regard to health and safety month, which is an excellent initiative. It is one in which I have been personally involved. I look forward to seeing the end of the process-there is nothing like being involved-and how it works. I applaud the government for that.
Raising the awareness of workplace health and safety by encouraging people is really the way to go, rather than waving big sticks and dragging people along, kicking and screaming. That is a positive initiative. I am also looking forward to the "hypothetical"which is to be delivered on 25 July. I wait to hear more about that.