Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 3910..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
What we saw over the course of probably 21/2 to 3 years was the development of a quite fantastic program, all essentially run by the community. The five Ginninderra members are, in fact, patrons of the organisation, but the work being done by the organisation is essentially the work of the constituents. I think that all the members for Ginninderra should be proud of the fantastic work. We have got to the situation now where, hopefully, within four or five months we will have a fully operational but small health cooperative situated in Charnwood providing bulk-billing services to some of the most disadvantaged people in my electorate.
I think that the work that has been done to solve a substantial social problem in west Belconnen has been fantastic and the people involved—Roger Nicoll, Michael Pilbrow and many others—deserve the congratulations of this Assembly. They have done so with very little support outside their group. They have had a small grant through the social inclusion board. I am a little unhappy that there has been so little government help. I hope that, now that they have proved their capacity, there will be more assistance through the department of health to ensure that it will be an ongoing and successful operation that has the capacity to expand.
The original plans were much more adventurous, but the organisation has cut its cloth according to its budget. We will, I hope, see about three full-time doctors in operation in Belconnen in the very near future. I encourage all members for Ginninderra to get on board in support, join up with the cooperative, even if they never use it themselves, and support the cooperative in the great work that it does. I recommend it to other communities as a model for addressing serious deficiencies in the health system.
One of the problems that we still have to overcome is that there are not all that many doctors in practice in Belconnen and Canberra generally, and this is one of the issues that need to be taken up with the commonwealth so that we can get more provider numbers in the ACT. There has been some progress there, but I hope that there will be more in the future.
But, most importantly, I would like to commend the people who formed and steered the West Belconnen Health Cooperative to its birth last week and also to pay tribute to the registrar of cooperatives in the Department of Justice and Community Safety who, I understand, was of significant help in the formulation of this great community endeavour.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.03): Initially, I want to alert members to the Can Do Studio Exhibition which is on in the exhibition room upstairs. I do so because usually exhibitions are here for a week or so, but this one will be here only until 3.00 pm tomorrow. I recommend that you make the effort to take a look. It is part of the community development work of the Bega-Allawah-Currong art group through the YWCA.
For the bulk of the time I want to talk about youth unemployment. In October 2005, I successfully moved a motion requesting the ACT government to look into