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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 880..


Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Annual Reports Legislation Amendment Bill 2004

Debate resumed from 11 December 2003, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Nurse Practitioners Legislation Amendment Bill 2003

Debate resumed from 11 December 2003, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (11.20): The opposition will support this bill. This bill is simply a collection of the consequential amendments to other acts that were made necessary by the passing of the Nurses Amendment Bill last year. That bill established the role of the nurse practitioner and came about following the successful trial of nurse practitioners by the previous government.

While the opposition will be supporting the bill, we do note that it seems to have taken a long time for these consequential amendments to appear. Surely this would have been anticipated and these could have been available much earlier. But, as we are now getting used to saying with this government, better late than never-and, a mere three years after the successful trial, we may now actually see nurse practitioners becoming a reality in the ACT.

MS TUCKER (11.21): This bill is the second legislative step towards having nurse practitioners working in our health system. Nurse practitioners are experienced and skilled nurses who, having completed the appropriate masters degree, are approved by the nurses board to work in their particular area of expertise. Their work includes diagnosis, prescription and treatment and so is expanded beyond the role usually allowed to nurses.

This still builds on the legislation which established a training course and basic framework. It is important to recognise that this is the outcome of a very well-constructed trial of nurse practitioners, conducted by the department and guided by a wide ranging steering committee including health professionals and consumer and stakeholder representatives. That trial had nurse practitioners working in wound care, sexual health, mental health consultation and military health, and was used to identify what support and training a nurse practitioner needs. This has informed the design of the


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