Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 June 2022) . . Page.. 1488 ..
been completed over the last couple of years and I understand that there are no issues at that pool.
MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Health. Last month, on 17 May, the Canberra Times reported that, in March last year, there were 3,002 full-time nurses employed by Canberra Health Services. Twelve months later, in March this year, there were 3,280 employed, an increase of 278 nurses. However, 365 nursing staff either resigned or retired last year. Minister, if 278 extra nurses were employed, yet 365 nursing staff left, doesn’t that mean Canberra is going backwards on nurse numbers?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Not surprisingly, it was a bit difficult to follow all of that math, so I will take the detail of the question on notice. But it is not true that Canberra is going backwards on nurse numbers.
MRS KIKKERT: Minister, is this a long-term trend, with more nurses leaving the system than being employed?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: No.
MS CASTLEY: Minister, in the last 12 months, how many more nurses have we lost due to contracts ending or nurses being dismissed?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: A number of temporary contracts have come to an end over the COVID period. Again, I will take the detail of the question on notice, but I am not sure that it is getting to the point. I do have the workforce profile and headcount. This is for all of the workforce, but of course nurses are the most significant part of our health workforce. For the Canberra Health Services, we have seen an overall workforce increase between 2018-19 and 2021-22, to 16 February, of 15½ per cent. In FTE it is almost 12 per cent—an 11.9 per cent increase.
This tale that the Liberals are trying to spin, that somehow we are actually going backwards on workforce, backwards on the number of nurses, is absolutely untrue. It is another example of the Liberals being negative, negative, negative, and misusing numbers, trying to portray a story to Canberrans that is not true, and is not actually helpful for our nursing workforce.
MR MILLIGAN: My question is directed to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Recently the land ballot for Macnamara opened with 51 blocks. By lunch time the same day, over 1,700 ballot entries were received. The demand for blocks of this land is extraordinary! Minister, will you release more land for detached housing to meet this level of demand?
MS BERRY: I thank Mr Milligan for his question. Mr Milligan will know that the ACT government has been continuing with its development of land under the goals