Page 660 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 22 February 2012

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represents employers in the ACT, and it also requires one member to have academic, professional or clinical expertise in a field relevant to workplace bullying or other workplace psychosocial issues, rather than requiring one member to have an academic expertise and another to have professional or clinical expertise.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Corrections) (4.59): I rise to oppose the amendment. Ms Bresnan’s amendment attempts to address concerns raised by members of our community, including the Work Safety Council. However, the council is a longstanding body that has a record of providing high-quality advice to government. There is no reason to believe that the council requires or would benefit from explicit direction on how to form an advisory committee to advise government on these matters.

The council is already, as Ms Bresnan has noted, able to form advisory committees for this purpose and has successfully used this model in the past to assist in performing in its role. For our part, the government are always able to seek additional expert advice over and above that provided by the council. Where appropriate, the government can seek the views of council members on that advice. In this context, the government are unable to support the amendment.

As always, the government welcomes this opportunity to bring further attention to the health and safety of territory workers. There is no place in modern workplaces for the kind of behaviour that this bill seeks to address. Bullying, harassment and violence are not acceptable in our community and are certainly not acceptable in our workplaces. This applies equally to our own workers in the ACT public service as well as all other workers.

The bill has drawn attention to these issues, a valuable outcome in itself. It has also presented a further opportunity to examine our laws and practices in this area and determine whether more can be done. This has involved considerable input from members of the Work Safety Council, and I thank them for their continuing contribution.

Amendment negatived.

Clause 6 negatived.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Schools—Gonski review

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (5.02): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

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