Page 3892 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 19 September 2017

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MR PARTON: Minister, have you consulted directly with local businesses on this proposal? If not, why not; and if yes, what were the outcomes? With local businesses, is the question.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Thank you, Mr Parton. It was a relatively short question. So I did actually get that one. I cannot recall, off the top of my head, whether I have spoken with any local businesses in their role as local businesses. I have certainly spoken with a number of people about this as I have gone about my various discussions and consultations. I may have had some discussions specifically with local businesses about it, but I would make the point that what we are talking about is creating a fair system for government procurement that ensures that we meet the highest standards of both industrial relations and workers rights but also other ethical requirements.

Many of the complaints that we receive in relation to this matter are actually complaints from competing businesses that have been undercut by providers, contractors, that are doing the wrong thing. That is what we want to stop. We want to stop providers doing the wrong thing because it is the right thing for workers but it is also the right thing for businesses that are doing the right thing.

ACT public service—breastfeeding facilities

MRS JONES: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Jones, you know my view on props. You have made your point. Can you please put it aside and get to your question. Thank you, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: My question is to the Chief Minister. I refer to your letter of 12 September this year in which you informed me of the audit of breastfeeding and pumping facilities for those undertaking these tasks in ACT public service buildings. Chief Minister, would you like to update the Assembly on the work which has been done across the public service to identify rooms lacking a lock on the door, and resolve the issue?

MR BARR: I thank Mrs Jones for the question and the advance notice, through certain processes, that this question was coming. I can advise the Assembly that across seven directorates, 37 buildings have either a dedicated breastfeeding room or capacity within the building for nursing mothers to use. Twenty-seven of these 37 have privacy latches fitted or alternative locking mechanisms. Work requests have been issued for three of the remaining 10 rooms to be fitted with privacy latches immediately and security on the final seven rooms is being further investigated. I have asked for security assessments and any necessary installations for these rooms to be completed as a priority.

MRS JONES: Minister, given this work now being undertaken, how do you think this will affect the work life of women who are still breastfeeding when returning to work?

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