Page 2 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 12 February 1991

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Mr Berry: What about the indecision and vacillation by the Chief Minister here?

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Berry!

MR KAINE: There is no indecision or vacillation. I have already spoken to my officers since coming back from leave, and I have asked them to do two things. The first is to commission an inquiry involving local small business to determine what the underlying reasons are for bankruptcy in the ACT. Once we know what the underlying problems are, it just may be that there are some things that this Government can do; but I doubt it. I think that when we have analysed them the underlying causes will point up the point that I have just made, namely, that the underlying cause of bankruptcy is the national economy, which is under the control of the Labor Government and a Labor Treasurer who simply cannot, or will not, face up to the issue.

The second thing that I have asked is that steps be taken to set up an advisory body for small businesses in trouble - somewhere they can go to have professionals look at their problems and advise them whether or not, in their particular circumstances, there is anything that can be done. My departmental officers are looking at both of those issues, and I believe that that is a positive response to the difficulty, to identify the nature of the problem and to do what we can about it.

Consumers Health Forum of Australia

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Minister for Health. Has the Minister received a copy of the national Consumers Health Forum of Australia's publication, Legal Recognition and Protection of the Rights of Health Consumers? What is being done by the Minister in response to that report?

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Stefaniak for his question. I can indicate that I received such a report just prior to my departure overseas on leave. I have written to the Consumers Health Forum expressing my wish to meet with their representatives sometime soon, and I think a meeting is being set up for later this month. I have also referred the report to the ACT Board of Health. It is my understanding that a number of matters covered in the report are either in hand or planned.

Certainly, principles such as access and equity in the provision of health services have been given legislative authority through being built into the objectives of the Board of Health, which was established under the Health Services Act which we passed after debate only late last

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