Page 4542 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 18 October 2011

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that anyone has been delaying. It is more that it could not be done until that agreement was reached. That agreement has been reached and I expect that work to be finalised as soon as possible so that pay rises can flow.

Food outlets—bullying

MS HUNTER: Minister, WorkSafe’s recent assessment of Canberra food outlets discovered that in most areas of work health and safety, there was a compliance rate of 90 per cent or more. However, only 66 per cent of food outlets were compliant with workplace bullying regulations. Minister, why is there such a low compliance rate with workplace bullying requirements and can you please provide the compliance rate with bullying regulations for other ACT industries?

Mrs Dunne: Because they get such great leadership from the ACT government.

MS GALLAGHER: The usual nasty interjection from Mrs Dunne, who just cannot help herself. She just cannot help herself. I am trying to find out a bit more information for you, Ms Hunter. I have not been provided with, and I am not sure we have available to us, information on other industries in relation to bullying regulations. This is essentially around having policies and procedures in place which, I might say to Mrs Dunne, are all in place in agencies across ACT government.

The issue that Ms Hunter is raising, if you paid attention, Mrs Dunne, is whether or not there are policies in place. I understand that in the food industry there are a number of very small businesses running, for example, takeaway shops that might not have been aware of the requirement to have in place a policy. My understanding is that WorkSafe is trying to provide guidance material to this sector to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities and can improve the compliance rate around this area. I am sorry that I am not able to provide you with information at this point in time, but I will undertake to do that, around how it relates to other industries.

MS HUNTER: Minister, what consideration has the ACT government given to include bullying as a ground for discrimination under the ACT’s Discrimination Act, which would give complainants and respondents to bullying complaints access to the Human Rights Commission’s investigation and conciliation functions and clear remedies for victimisation of a person making a complaint?

MS GALLAGHER: I am certainly looking at this issue very closely; so I would say it is before the government. I do not think it is necessarily a clear way forward. What I am trying to do is ensure that our own processes around workplace bullying across the ACT public service are up to a very high standard and that everyone is aware of their responsibilities. This issue has been raised with me through the course of those discussions. So we have not reached a final position on it and I think we would need to consult particularly with industry and do some analysis of making a decision like that.

But from my point of view, and I have spent a fair bit of time on this since becoming Chief Minister, I would like the government to be a leader in this area in terms of how we respond to and protect and support those people in a workplace, whether they are

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