Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 June 2003



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 June 2003

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Parliamentary Record 13


Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 19 June 2003 Mrs AAGAARD: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Madam SPEAKER: Member for Drysdale, would you withdraw that remark? M r DUNHAM: Dont keep your trap shut. Members inteijecting. M r DUNHAM: I withdraw the remark. Whichever one offended you, I withdraw. Madam SPEAKER: I asked you to withdraw that remark. Do it properly. M r Kiely: Get a grip. Madam SPEAKER: Member for Sanderson, you should be quiet. M r DUNHAM: The remark that offends the member for Sanderson, I withdraw unreservedly. This is a letter that is signed by John Kirwan. Hmm, that should give you a heads up, mate! He was appointed after we left government, so we are talking contemporary here, right? We are talking about Maijorie Riley who was assaulted on a couple of occasions. This lady had qualifications beside nursing including in risk assessment, so you could have actually used a negative experience for a constructive purpose. She could have actually gone to the person who was bashed her and said: Look, how can we do things better?. No. She was pretty much harassed and bullied out of the public service. She wrote to various people, including the Commissioner for Public Employment, and I can quote from his letter, which I am happy to table later if members want. He states: Often it is necessary for an issue o f conflict to arise to draw necessary attention to appropriately address important matters. That is a good point and that is what we are trying to do here: Although some might view the existence o f such a conflict as a failure, I believe it can be turned into a positive if people leam from such events and make genuine attempts to create improvements. That is the censure: you have not leamt; there were no genuine attempts to create improvements. That is why you are being censured: I am confident that the initiatives that have been pursued by DHCS, such as convening a working party ... Where have we heard that before? ... comprising government personnel and community leaders is a result o f concern for the issues you have raised in your grievance. I expect there will be some positive outcomes from their deliberations in addressing those issues. That is what we want to hear. We want the minister to stand up and tell us how this failure in the system has been turned to such great advantage: A review o f a grievance under the circumstances that you are now in is difficult, as I can only review what has happened in the past for policy recommendations for the future ... He goes on: It is a process designed to improve the workplace wherever possible, and I feel that in your case other future employees will benefit from your actions as a result o f the DHCS implementing improvements in their management o f remote area workplaces. That is what we want to hear. We want to give solace to these people who have put pen to paper, applying for a job out bush, that these improvements are in place. We want the minister to list them, community by community if possible. M r Ah Kit: Who is the shadow for health? Are you? M r Henderson: Who is the shadow Health minister? M r DUNHAM: Oh! Now, the business about who is shadow health is a very interesting inteijection. I can tell you that this side of politics would view this as a serious issue. The shadow police minister, justice minister, corrections minister and the shadow for Aboriginal affairs would. There are people with connections in nursing, including people who have family and friends who work in this industry. Therefore, before you mn trite things like: Why would Dunham be interested?, I can tell you I am vitally interested. If you want this censure to go all day, every one of us will stand because it is the sort of thing that we do not believe should be swept conveniently under a carpet somewhere. 4388

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