Page 2015 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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government is modernising the workplace safety and rehabilitation model of our public sector. Under the improvement plan we have implemented targeted programs to improve health and safety across the sector, including skilling managers to promote positive workplace culture and minimise the risk of psychological injury.

Where ACT public sector workers are injured on the job, it is important that we help them recover and get back to work as soon as possible. Evidence from around the world shows that long-term absence from work following injury is detrimental for the workers involved, and it is a significant cost to the taxpayer. In this regard, the improvement plan provides better mechanisms for job redeployment for injured employees returning to work.

This is a long-term project, but we are already making good progress, and Comcare has recognised this by accepting a $2 million reduction in the ACT public service premium for this financial year. As the improvement plan continues to be better and more widely used, we expect to see further reductions in the number of ACT employees suffering workplace injuries and further reductions in the social and economic costs these injuries cause.

Protecting workers rights and improving the legislation that governs our workplaces are core values of the Australian Labor Party and they are core values of this government. We promised the ACT before the last election that we would drive further improvements to workplace safety, and this is what we continue to do. I commend Mr Gentleman’s motion to the Assembly.


MADAM SPEAKER: Before we proceed, I would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of senior students from Radford College and their teachers. Welcome to your Assembly.

Work safety

Debate resumed.

MADAM SPEAKER: The question is that the amendments be agreed to.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (12.11): I thank Mr Gentleman for raising this issue today. I particularly acknowledge his passion and commitment to workplace safety. I know throughout his career and throughout his time in the Assembly he has been a very passionate advocate for improved workplace health and safety issues. It is a passion that, as we have seen this morning, is shared by his colleagues in the Labor Party. There is no doubt that the government takes workplace health and safety very seriously.

In my Directorate of Economic Development and, most particularly, through the Land Development Agency, workplace health and safety is a priority area—noting, of

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