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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 3077..


DR FOSKEY (continuing):

employment in the town centres. We do not see the government out there advocating strongly on that at Gungahlin, do we? This is really important. I know it is difficult; it may have been a misconceived plan in the beginning because workplaces move, people change jobs, different members of each family work in different places, but it still is a reasonable principle. If everybody in Gungahlin has to get into their cars to drive to work, you I would call that a planning failure, would you not?

MR SPEAKER: The time for this discussion has expired.

Standing orders—suspension

Motion (by Mrs Burke ) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Mrs Burke from moving a motion to refer a matter to a committee and having the motion resolved.

Health—Wanniassa medical centre

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (4.51): I move:

That the closure of Wanniassa Medical Centre be referred to the Standing Committee on Health for immediate inquiry and to report back to this Assembly on Tuesday, 26 August 2008.

I must begin by declaring my own interest in this matter. I have been attending the Wanniassa medical centre for over 20 years, and it has provided an excellent service to me and my family over that time. I, like thousands of other patients, was horrified to read in the paper that it was to close and to close so soon. In fact, tomorrow will be the last day for this clinic as it stands.

It is interesting that the minister asked what I would have done if I were the minister. Well, one thing is for sure: I would have been in dialogue with those people who are significant providers of health services in the ACT. Primary Health Care has decided to close the Wanniassa clinic and move the doctors to a larger facility in Phillip. The doctors, who are not happy about it, are bound by their contracts. My office has been taking calls from patients from the Wanniassa medical centre who are very angry, upset and worried about the sudden closure of their local doctors' clinic.

It is interesting again that the health minister moaned earlier today in this place that I would dare say anything about her lack of involvement in this matter. This is exactly why the opposition have called for this inquiry—that is, to better understand the circumstances around the decision by Primary Health Care. One lady rang me before I came down to the chamber and she said she and her husband had been going to the Wanniassa medical centre and they cannot believe that it is closing. They say that going to Phillip is not much of an option as there is nowhere to park. There is some concern that they will not be able to get their regular doctor.

I also read in the paper recently that one resident who planned to attend the rally on Tuesday of this week to protest the closure of the clinic said it was like losing a family


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