Thursday, 18 February 2021
Parliament House: Counselling and Support Services
by leave—I wish to alert the chamber to some resourcing decisions being taken by the government around the Employment Assistance Program. As senators all realise, some very challenging and difficult issues have been discussed across this building this week that may cause a number of staff to feel distress or need to reach out for support services. As people are aware, we have a long-running employment assistance program in place. I want to restate the importance of people being able to access that via the usual telephone line that is available. I also want to advise the Senate that, at the beginning of next week, there will be a number of counsellors made available on site in Parliament House for individuals to be able to access and that I will make sure that all staff and officers are provided with details on these matters. I urge and encourage senators themselves to access those services as well as those provided by the parliament if need be and, of course, to make sure that their staff are aware of those services and the confidentiality provisions that exist around those services. I thank the Senate.