Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 August 2005 2005) . . Page.. 3039 ..
developed twinning relationships with Nara. There is a continuing range of exchanges between schools in Nara and Canberra.
MR SPEAKER: The minister’s time has expired. Ms Porter, a supplementary question?
MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Is the Chief Minister able to describe for the Assembly what practical assistance measures the ACT government is taking under the Canberra-Dili friendship agreement?
MR STANHOPE: Yes, I can, but I regret I was not able, because of the delaying tactics of the opposition, to provide the degree of detail on our sister city relationship with Nara that I would have liked—perhaps tomorrow. In relation to the Canberra-Dili friendship agreement, I am very pleased with the level of continuing support at the community level. I am also very pleased at the extent to which the ACT government, in conjunction with the Dili district administration, has been able to provide practical on-the-ground support under the auspices of the Canberra-Dili friendship arrangement. To date, they are effectively represented through two projects that are being pursued. One relates to the identification of domestic violence as a priority for the Timorese community. As a consequence of that, two Canberra experts, Ms Denise Simpson, the head of the domestic violence crisis service, and Ms Gail Frank, a worker with the domestic violence crisis service, visited Dili in June for a scoping study. The study looks at the extent to which the ACT government, through the Dili friendship arrangement, could provide some capacity for direct assistance for the community sector and the Dili district administration in relation to how to deal with the very complex issue of violence within communities.
The second project, which I am very pleased the ACT government has been able to support, is a proposal scoped by the chief executive of ACT Health, Dr Tony Sherbon, dealing with the possible establishment of cooperative arrangements in relation to health care between ACT Health and the Dili district administration health service. The proposal being scoped and pursued by Dr Sherbon is similar in part to arrangements that exist between a number of Australian governments and councils, and not just for Dili but also other parts of Timor. The highest priority areas of need in Timor—one of the 10 poorest nations, incidentally, and recognised as the poorest of all the nations within the Asian region—are in health care and education. I think it is excellent that ACT Health has scoped the possibility or the capacity to provide, from time to time, some capacity building and direct assistance to Dili in the delivery of health care for the people of East Timor and that this has been done under the auspices of our Canberra-Dili friendship agreement, which we entered into in 2004.
Dr Sherbon proposes, in concert with Professor Arbon, the chair of acute care nursing and the director of the Research Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Practice, and Ms Dreimanis, a clinical nurse consultant in infection control, to visit Dili to provide direct assistance to the Dili national hospital administration and to develop the possibility for ongoing health care delivery and capacity building between officers and officials of ACT Health and the Dili district health administration. I think these are fantastic examples of our capacity, through the Dili friendship arrangement, to build capacity to provide direct services to the newest nation in the world, one of those nations battling to meet the needs of its people after years of oppression and a lack of resourcing of their day to day survival needs. These are great examples of how our friendship arrangements