Page 4 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 12 February 1991

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redevelopment of our public hospital system, to attract the resources and facilities necessary to ensure that we do attract and retain high quality people to the ACT.

Obviously, the quality of the resources we have at our disposal is not the only reason that on occasions we have trouble attracting high quality staff here. There are other reasons. However, I believe that that is the single, principal and most important reason for our inability to attract such staff, and I sincerely hope that the hospital redevelopment, which will take on very important stages this year, will make a very important contribution to overcoming those particular problems and to keeping good staff at that level in the ACT.

MR STEVENSON: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Specifically concerning dermatologists, is there currently an attempt being made to get one into Canberra?

MR HUMPHRIES: It is very difficult, Mr Speaker, actually to attract people of any particular specialty to the ACT, except by offering particular incentives, which are not a good idea in the long-term interests of the health system. Obviously, for example, we could promise a dermatologist, or some other professional, extremely lucrative remuneration as an incentive to come to the ACT. But, if we were to adopt that approach for every shortage as it arose, we would find ourselves unable to manage our hospital system on budget.

I do not believe that short-term solutions are the answer; long-term solutions are solutions which incorporate improvements in our system to attract good people to the ACT and to make it a worthwhile place in which people can live and work. Those things are the answers to this problem. That will be the solution the Government continues to pursue.

Ministerial Leave

MR BERRY: My question is to the Chief Minister, and my question arises from the Chief Minister's and the Minister for Education's absences over recent times. Chief Minister, how do you justify the fact that you, personally, have spent up to twelve weeks on leave, with full pay, over the 20 months that you have been a member of the Assembly?

MR KAINE: First of all, the figure is totally incorrect, and I do not know where you got it from. In fact, until this Christmas break, I had had virtually no leave in the two years since the Assembly was established.

Mr Berry: What about the 1989 Estimates Committee? That was not bad.

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