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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 7 Hansard (3 August) . .

Page.. 2214..


MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, what is the number that you are short of staff at the women's and children's hospital and at the Canberra Hospital generally?

MR CORBELL: In relation to the latter part of Ms Lawder's question, across the hospital as a whole I would, of course, have to take that matter on notice. In relation to the centenary hospital, as I have indicated, the total number of vacancies in the staff at that part of the hospital, based on the advice I have received this week, is fewer than 10.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, what has been the result of union representations concerning staff shortages?

MR CORBELL: We have a very strong complement of staff there. As I have indicated, there are a number of vacancies, most of which are currently the subject of recruitment action, and they are small in number, as I have indicated in my previous answer. In relation to the union's representations, the government takes the union's representations seriously. The management of the centenary hospital and the Chief Nurse are meeting with the union on a weekly basis in relation to the matters they are raising in relation to this particular part of the hospital.

Visitors

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call the next member I acknowledge the presence in the gallery of the north Canberra and south Canberra branches of National Seniors Australia. Welcome to your Assembly.

Questions without notice

Education—school closures

MR JEFFERY: My question is to the Minister for Education. The ACT government promised to not close any schools prior to the 2004 election. In 2006 Mr Barr closed 23 schools despite widespread community protest, including Tharwa and Hall schools. Now, 10 years on, what has been the impact on these rural communities of the government's decision?

MR RATTENBURY: Mr Jeffrey might be interested to know that I was not in the Assembly in either 2004 or 2006, which is the basis on which most of his question was asked. I was, in fact, not even living in Canberra at the time, having taken a short sojourn to work overseas.

In terms of the ongoing impact, I do not have any specific advice on that. All children of school age in the ACT are entitled to a place in an ACT public school, and I am not aware of anybody who has not been able to access a place that wanted one.


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