Page 400 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

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MR HANSON: Minister, how do you explain the difference between your answer of only one vacancy in the last sitting week and multiple adverts for teachers of all levels across multiple schools only a week later?

MS BERRY: Most of the positions that have been advertised are temporary positions. The question I was asked was whether there were full-time vacancies. At the start of day one, term one, there was one full-time position vacant.

MS CASTLEY: Minister, how many teachers are needed in ACT schools right now?

MS BERRY: I do not have that number off the top of my head, so I will have to take that question on notice.

Mr Hanson: You said it was one last time. What is it now?


MS BERRY: I believe the question was: how many teachers are required?

Ms Castley: Now, in the ACT.

MS BERRY: Now, yes. I will take that question on notice.

Health—specialist waiting times

MS CASTLEY: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health. In August 2020 you provided information to the Canberra Liberals about the number of children on waiting lists to see a specialist in the ACT. You revealed that 568 children were waiting up to 606 days to see an ear, nose and throat specialist; 543 children were waiting up to 258 days for a paediatric appointment; and 707 children were waiting 540 days to see an immunologist. You said, “Canberra Health Services is working very hard on several initiatives and plans to improve those waiting lists.” Have the waiting lists improved?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Castley for the question. I will take the detail of the question on notice, but obviously there have been some significant impacts in relation to COVID-19 on the capacity to get through some of these things, and we have seen continued pressure on our hospital system and on specialist outpatient appointments more generally. So, while there have probably been improvements in some areas it may be that numbers have also increased in other areas. As you would understand, these things go up and down over time, so I will take the detail of the question on notice—obviously it was a very detailed response to a question on notice last time—and provide an update to the Assembly.

MS CASTLEY: Minister, what do you say to the anxious parents and carers who have been waiting up to 19 months to get a foot in the door just to have their children see specialists?

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