Page 1085 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 21 March 2012

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what you wanted to talk about on a post-it note and put it in an appropriate spot. Some of the stuff was really interesting.

Unfortunately, I was only able to be there for a small part of the time. I heard some stuff about open government. I went to some stuff about crowdsourcing of maps. I saw some great demonstrations of maps which would be really good for the ACT government to start using. I listened to a discussion about start-ups. I heard how we could actually get start-ups working and how Australia does not have a culture that supports them very well. It seems we all prefer to have nice, secure jobs.

I went to a demonstration on a new software called Counterpoint. I am wondering if I can work out a way to use it myself. It is basically a poll system on steroids. Instead of having the polls that we have in the paper where you click “yes” or “no”—which I think is silly—you get a chance to have a topic of conversation and various arguments. People can say which arguments they find persuasive and put in new arguments.

This is the sort of thing which, hopefully, will enable us to make our democracy work better. At present, most people in Canberra and in democratic parts of the world do not have an easy way of getting engaged and when they do get engaged in an easy way, it is at such a superficial level. As I mentioned, with polls in newspapers you see who supports what, but you do not get to see the arguments. You do not know why people have the views they have. This is software which enables people to put forward the arguments. Policy makers and decision makers are then able to see that the majority of people think that an argument is persuasive and can say, “Does this make sense or is it that people need some more information about this?”

It was a really wonderful morning. It was a breath of fresh air, really. The ideas they were talking about were the sorts of things that we as an Assembly and the ACT government should be adopting in moving into the technological future ahead of us.

OH&S liaison officer funding

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.15): I want to thank the Minister for Industrial Relations for presenting yesterday the review of the OH&S liaison officer funding that was conducted in 2011, which was a report by the chair of the Work Safety Council. This is a little-known position. I think very few people in the ACT know about it.

It is interesting to look at the terms of reference for the OH&S liaison officer funding. The OH&S liaison officer funding was put in place by appropriation act No 2 of 2003-04, which commenced in October 2003, and provides ongoing funding by way of a grant to UnionsACT to employ an OH&S liaison officer. The government agreed to fund a person at the ASO6 level, including salary and on-costs, which currently amount to $96,000. The role of the liaison officer is to promote OH&S awareness, particularly in private sector workplaces, and to provide training to employers and employees.

It was interesting that after eight or so years of operation of this position the PAC last year recommended that there be a review of the position in conjunction with the ACT Work Safety Council. The scope and objectives of the review are quite interesting:

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