Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 August 2017) . . Page.. 2681 ..
Canberra. There is always a domestic animals services ranger who is contactable at all hours of the day to respond to these requests. Of course, if a person is injured, calling police is the right thing to do.
Like you, Mr Doszpot, I am increasingly concerned about the numbers of reported dog attacks. I think that as a community we need to have a very serious conversation about what it means to responsibly own a pet and to keep pets, particularly dogs, enclosed, and on leash when they are in a public place.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what has happened and will happen to the three dogs and their owner?
MS FITZHARRIS: I understand that that is the subject of an ongoing investigation by Domestic Animal Services.
MR WALL: Minister, why is it the government’s continued policy to value the rights of the dangerous dog over that of the safety of the broader community?
MS FITZHARRIS: It is not.
MR STEEL: My question is to the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development. How is the government ensuring safe workplaces for teachers, educators and support staff?
MS BERRY: I thank Mr Steel for his question. As members will have noted, in late July I launched a new occupational violence policy and management plan with the Australian Education Union ACT branch to ensure that public school staff are safe and confident in doing what they are most passionate about, that is, teaching and facilitating learning.
This policy and the government’s partnership with its workers and their union arose from recognition that there are some unique safety risks faced by school staff. The term “occupational violence” is a catch-all. It refers to any action, incident or behaviour that departs from reasonable conduct in which a person is assaulted, threatened, harmed or injured in the course of or as a direct result of their work.
While it is unfortunate that there has been a need to use this term to talk about these things that have been happening in ACT schools, it is important that occupational violence is identified and named when it occurs. The government has done that by recognising a problem and responding swiftly with leadership and decisive action. This is nation leading.
Best practice policy sets out the commitment of the ACT Education Directorate to ensure that the risk of occupational violence to staff in it workplaces is eliminated so far as is reasonably practicable; minimise the impact of any exposure; and provide rapid response and appropriate support following any incident that might occur.