Page 2045 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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Supplementary answer to question without notice


MR CORBELL: On 9 May, Mrs Jones asked me a question as to how many long-term unfinished residential properties had the directorate taken action on and how many had been finished as a result. I can advise Mrs Jones that, in relation to the Amaroo residential properties that she was referring to, in July last year the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate issued control activity orders under the Planning and Development Act over all eight properties in question. The orders require the properties to be developed within strict time frames.

In relation to these matters, the lessee has exercised the right to appeal the directorate’s decision in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. And as that matter is before the tribunal, I cannot provide any further comment on it.

Work safety

Debate resumed.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (3.44): As I was saying before the lunch break, more recently we have seen this government again reaffirming the importance of work safety through legislation and by swift and timely response to the Getting home safely report. And I believe it needs recognition for this.

With National Volunteer Week being observed this week, I thought I would focus on what work safe means for those who are contributing daily by volunteering their time, skill and experience to our community through their work. Members will not be surprised to hear me saying that volunteering is an area that I have been passionate about since my childhood. I have seen volunteering and the perception of what it is and what it means evolve over time, from what was once seen as a post-retirement option and mainly the domain of women to now being a much better appreciated, recognised and valued workforce that is better resourced and managed, a workforce which encompasses all aspirants from young people to older members of our community.

One of the major changes that have occurred over the years involves a change of scope of coverage of health and safety legislation and it being extended to better capture contemporary work and employment arrangements, with our daily concept of “employee” being replaced by the broader definition of “worker”. This definition covers all those who work in employment-like settings, including independent contractors, outworkers, apprentices, trainees and, most importantly in this case, volunteers.

Apart from recognising the valuable contribution volunteers have made and, indeed, continue to make to our community, which I believe must continue to be protected by legislation, this change in scope also acknowledges that volunteers work in various sectors of our community, sectors such as sport, art, heritage, environment protection, health, education, science, emergency services, policing, transport and caring roles,

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