Page 4657 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 November 2018

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MS ORR: Minister, what else is the ACT government doing to improve worker safety outcomes?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Orr for her supplementary question. As the Assembly would be aware, we have introduced a number of important measures in order to improve worker safety outcomes over the past few months. The first of those that I will talk about is the Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill that passed in the Assembly earlier this year. The purpose of this bill is to improve the safety culture in the ACT’s construction industry by facilitating greater consultation between employees and employers on major construction projects, something the ACT government believes is core to safe workplace culture.

Consultation is an important part of the risk management process, and this was confirmed by the RMIT University’s review into work safety culture in the construction industry last year. Formal mechanisms assist workers to be able to have their voices heard in relation to concerns at work as well as to have a genuine opportunity to contribute to health and safety decisions in the workplace.

Another is the secure local jobs package, which is designed to use the government’s purchasing power through procurement to encourage employers to do the best they can by their workers by meeting the highest ethical and labour standards. It is our hope that by creating a scheme that allows businesses that treat their workers fairly to flourish this will flow through to benefit all Canberra workers.

There are many more examples of what the ACT government is doing to improve worker safety outcomes, including the recently tabled outcomes of the independent review of the ACT’s work safety compliance infrastructure, policies and procedures which will better position WorkSafe ACT to continue and improve on the work they are doing.

I look forward to working with the Assembly, staff, WorkSafe ACT, unions and other stakeholders to ensure that safety remains a priority not only for the ACT government but for the community we serve.

Canberra Hospital—offsite scanning contract

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Minister, in an answer to a question on notice you said that the medical imaging department at the Canberra Hospital had a contract with Everlight to provide offsite CT scan analysis and reporting services. This was to cater for unplanned leave of radiology staff at the hospital. Between 1 January and 21 September this year, 833 scans had been referred to Everlight at a cost of $100,000. You also advised that the contract had not been loaded onto the contract register. Minister, why is it necessary for the government to spend in excess of $100,000 per year to cover the unplanned leave of medical imaging staff?

MS FITZHARRIS: To make sure that patients get access to timely medical imaging.

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