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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 17 August 2006) . . Page.. 2344 ..

patients and greater team satisfaction of the health professionals. If Mr Mulcahy wanted to ask me a question on the health portfolio, he had every opportunity this week, including one on paid parking. I have been waiting for it, because I wanted to go through some of the promises Mr Pratt has made about paid parking—but maybe next week. Members should save up their interjections, write them down, and ask me in question time about parking at the hospitals for students.

It is worth noting that during the COAG meeting the Prime Minister was able to find an additional five places for Tasmania, and now the University of Tasmania’s medical school, which services a similar population to that of the ACT and surrounding region, has 26 more medical school places than the ANU. I welcome the response I received yesterday from Senator Humphries to my letter, indicating that he is taking the matter seriously and that he will lobby the Prime Minister for these places. So we look forward to that. We are simply asking for the commonwealth to reconsider its position about our medical school places and join with us in health investment to provide a work force that is sustainable for the future.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Standing orders—suspension

Motion (by Mr Mulcahy) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the Minister for Health from making a statement on the introduction of paid parking at hospitals.

Hospitals—pay parking

Statement by minister

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Health, Minister for Disability and Community Services and Minister for Women): I thank the Assembly for the opportunity to talk about paid parking at hospitals. As members would be aware, the government decided to introduce paid parking at the hospitals as a means of enhancing the revenue base of the public health system and in acknowledgement that paid parking has been introduced at every metropolitan hospital across Australia, bar the one in Darwin. This initiative will assist us with traffic management at our hospital campuses and, hopefully, will encourage the use of public transport. Paid parking will apply to visitors, patients and other users of hospital car parks on a sliding scale, from 50c for half an hour rising to $5 per day—24 hours car parking for $5, which is probably the cheapest in the country.

A range of exemptions will apply. A range of exemptions were negotiated with Minister Corbell when he had the Health portfolio and with me once I took over the Health portfolio. A range of exemptions will apply to staff employed by ACT Health, Calvary Health Care ACT, Little Company of Mary Health Care, ACT government visiting medical officers, InTACT staff based at the Canberra Hospital, ANU medical school staff, contract cleaners and kitchen staff and those who provide an essential service to the patients and staff at the hospital or an ACT Health co-located facility, and have the Canberra Hospital, Calvary Health Care or Brian Hennessy House as their primary place of employment.

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