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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5226 ..


division, around how best to support general practice. The division are very clear with us that they do not want us to pick winners within the GP community or decide what service goes where. They see us more as a provider of some funding assistance and, certainly with the data that we have within Health, a provider of information to certain groups.

In that light, the government would be happy to support the Greens’ amendments to Mrs Dunne’s motion. We do agree with the majority of Mrs Dunne’s motion. However, we do not believe it is up to the government to provide a report back about the potential for expanding the cooperative model.

We funded a feasibility study for the West Belconnen Health Co-op. There is funding around, through our infrastructure grants. It has a range of criteria, including attraction and retention, education and training and infrastructure as part of the components where, if an organisation or a collective did want to seek assistance for a feasibility study, there is a source of funding for them.

I think it is more about similar community models. If there is a decision of, say, the Tuggeranong or Gungahlin community to establish a cooperative and then seek financial support from the government, there certainly is a funding stream over the next four years as we have got an additional $3 million to allocate in support of initiatives like these. So we are very happy to support Mrs Dunne’s motion, with the additions from the Greens, certainly in relation to providing information and support to community groups around establishing a new model of primary healthcare. We are very happy to do that and explore opportunities for funding assistance.

In addressing Ms Hunter’s points, I do not think it is fair to say that we have not been doing very much or that we have been sitting on our hands waiting for the national reforms. That is not true at all. I hope I have outlined the areas that we have been doing a lot of work in.

The national reforms, though, will come into place. Under those reforms the commonwealth government does take 100 per cent funding responsibility for primary healthcare services. I think it is also worth noting that, if a group is looking at being established or the West Belconnen Health Co-op are looking at expanding the services they provide outside of Belconnen, approaches to the commonwealth would be a good pathway as well, considering that in the future they will be the ones with policy and funding responsibilities.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.35): I realise we are pressed for time; so I will speak very briefly on this motion. I do think it is important that I put on the record my admiration for all those involved at the West Belconnen Health Co-op. I think Mrs Dunne has very clearly articulated the opposition’s view and our support for the work that is done there and, indeed, the potential benefits of having other similar models across Canberra.

Prior to the last election, the Canberra Liberals did take a policy of support of health co-ops and we very much remain committed to that support. We think it is part of the solution for improving access to GPs in Canberra. Whilst we are, by no means,


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