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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 27 November 2014) . . Page.. 4200 ..

I think what this shows, and it is the reason I am updating the Assembly today, is the commitment that has been put in place, led by ministers right across the cabinet, and also through the directorate structure, to ensure that the towards zero growth policy is implemented as a key priority of this government.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, can you update the Assembly on the government’s election commitment relating to cancer research?

MS GALLAGHER: Yes. I thank Ms Berry again. Last week, I think it was, the government, in conjunction with ANU, made a very important announcement to Canberra about the appointment to the Centenary Chair of Cancer Research at the John Curtin School of Medical Research. We were really pleased that Professor Ross Hannan has accepted the appointment to this position. He is a very highly regarded researcher and professional in his area, and he has come from the Peter MacCallum school in Melbourne.

It was a real coup to get him to consider moving to Canberra, and I know that the John Curtin School of Medical Research, the ANU Medical School and the Canberra Region Cancer Centre all worked hard to get him to consider this appointment. I was really pleased to have it in place and also to have the opportunity to tour the lab to see the work that they are doing there and get a commitment from everyone working at the John Curtin school to the important links between the capital region cancer centre and this new centenary chair position.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, could you update the Assembly on the government’s election commitment to establish a mobile dental clinic?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for his continuing interest in all matters dental and the implementation of this important initiative. We went to the election with a promise to establish a mobile dental clinic to serve residential aged-care facilities. This was an issue that had come to my attention, particularly for those elderly Canberrans that found it very difficult to get out of their residential aged-care facility and into a private dental clinic, or even onto the public dental program.

We have provided financial support to establish the mobile dental program. This is well underway. The van is expected to be delivered to the dental health program in the near future and to be deployed—“deployed” sounds like the wrong word—or to visit the first aged-care facility in early December 2014. I am really pleased. Again, this is another initiative which shows that, when the health system get feedback from people about gaps or issues with access to services, they bend over backwards to try and find a way to deliver the care and the treatment and the service in a way that is made as easy as possible for patients—in this case those elderly Canberrans who need to maintain dental health but have trouble accessing traditional dental clinics.

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