Page 4552 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 31 October 2018

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Signage will also be put up well in advance and affected residents and businesses will be advised by a letterbox drop at least two days in advance of road resurfacing in their street starting. Works are set to be completed by June 2019. Overall, these works will positively impact commuters by ensuring that investment in maintaining our roads is done in advance and in a systematic fashion, causing the least amount of disruption.

ACT Health—public interest disclosure

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. I refer to reports in the media today that ACT Health has taken disciplinary action against doctors in the Canberra Hospital radiology department who made public interest disclosures, and the contract of one doctor has been discontinued. You stated in a letter to me on 22 October that ACT health services are “aware of the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012, protecting those who make a public interest disclosure, and those protections are, and will continue to be respected”. Minister, what actions have you taken to ensure that Canberra Health Services or ACT Health have not breached the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012, consistent with the sentiments you expressed in your letter of 22 October 2018?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mrs Dunne for the question. I have sought and received assurances that ACT Health, and indeed the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate, are handling public interest disclosure matters in strict accordance with the law. They are also making sure that any other issues that are raised in regard to workplace behaviour are being followed in accordance with policy, procedure and law.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, when did you first become aware that ACT Health or Canberra Health Services had taken disciplinary action against doctors who lodged public interest disclosures?

MS FITZHARRIS: I note that the matters relating to public interest disclosures and other matters raised by staff are the subject of some legal proceedings. I have been advised not to answer questions on this matter because a number of them are subject to legal proceedings, as Mrs Dunne is well aware.

MR COE: Minister, what actions have you taken or will you take to ensure that your directorate does not take disciplinary action against people who make submissions to the review of ACT Health culture?

MS FITZHARRIS: Certainly it is very clear in my statements on the conduct of the independent review, and as has been made patently clear by the independent panel members themselves, all members of the panel and all members of the secretariat supporting the panel are subject to very clear and longstanding legislation in the ACT which includes the health information act, the health records act, the Public Sector Management Act, the Privacy Act. And it has been made very clear by me to the panel and by the panel to anyone and everyone who wishes to make a submission to them that their highest order priority is to maintain confidentiality and also, of course, to abide by the law. I trust them very much to do that and know how seriously they take these matters.

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