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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 1995) . . Page.. 1191 ..


Motion

MR CONNOLLY (11.03): Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Assembly rejects the Government's announced decision to:

(1) privatise all nursing home beds in the ACT; and

(2) remove salaried general practitioner services from Community Health Centres.

Mr Speaker, since this Assembly last sat, in the very long break between sittings of this Assembly, which seems to be the hallmark of this secretive and non-consultative Government, two very fundamental changes to the way health services have been delivered in this Territory for many years have been announced. In both cases they were announced by the Opposition before they were reluctantly prised from the Government. I indicated by press release that the Government was about to announce a total abandonment of the role of government in the provision of nursing home services, which was later that day confirmed by Mrs Carnell, and I announced to the community that the Government was to totally abandon the role of salaried GPs in the health service. Mrs Carnell squealed loudly about that and said how outrageous it was that this had been leaked to the press before she had had the opportunity to inflict that decision on the people of Canberra.

In both cases, the Labor Party is not taking some blind, ideological, “no change ever” position, although that will be this Government's first line of attack. Their second line of attack - - -

Mr Kaine: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think that what Mr Connolly is really saying is that he has changed his mind over the last six months. Is that correct, Mr Connolly?

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MR CONNOLLY: The second obvious line of attack from the Government will be, as is Mrs Carnell's hallmark, to blame everybody else for her decisions.

Nursing home care has been a traditional role of ACT government. We have had, up to now, one of the higher levels of provision of government nursing home care in this Territory, at about 24 per cent of all beds. The Labor Government never said that that would not change. The Labor Government never said that Jindalee would never change. Indeed, some years ago we began a major process of change and reform at Jindalee. Much of that change and reform was accomplished over recent years, and the operating costs of Jindalee have improved significantly in recent years.


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