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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 September 2019) . . Page.. 3775 ..


MR WALL: Minister, what consultation with you as the minister or your department has been undertaken with CIT as to a winding back of programs being offered at the not so long ago established Tuggeranong CIT campus?

MR BARR: As I have indicated in my response to the previous question, ministerial decisions are not required in relation to where the CIT delivers courses, and it is in that very fine level of detail that we engage, through the directorate and indeed through the regular briefings I have with CIT, in relation to their broader approach to the delivery of publicly funded training across the territory.

But this has not been the subject of a specific discussion, the specific course that Mr Wall referred to. I am happy to have that conversation with the CIT. I am not aware of any desires to change that particular delivery, and they are of course focused on ensuring that their course delivery meets the needs of students right across the city.

MS LAWDER: Minister, why did teachers first know about the cessation of this program because it was omitted from the 2020 CIT course guide?

MR BARR: I will not take at face value that an omission from a course guide means that that was the first engagement on that specific question, or whether in fact this is a decision that has been taken by the institute. It is not something that has been raised with me. I will engage with them on this specific issue and seek an explanation in relation to that matter. But I do stress that it is not a ministerial decision as to which courses the CIT offers, and where they offer them, in that fine detail. I will seek some information on the matter.

Health—meningococcal immunisation program

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Health. I refer to your ministerial statement on 24 September on meningococcal B vaccinations for infants. How widely available was the meningococcal B vaccine when the government made the promise in 2016?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I understand that the availability of the meningococcal B vaccine in 2016 was probably the same as it is now. My understanding is that it is available to people through their GP if they are able to pay for that. It is not on the national immunisation program. The decision was made by the ACT government at this stage not to pursue the introduction of meningococcal B vaccination.

This was the result of further information that was provided and further evidence that was provided by the ACT Health Directorate in relation to the prevalence of meningococcal B. As I said in my statement, there has been a decrease in meningococcal B cases, with only four confirmed cases of the B strain in the ACT since 2014, which makes it extremely rare.

By contrast, rates of meningococcal diseases have increased across Australia, particularly in relation to the W and Y strains, which was why, in the 2017-18 budget, the ACT government invested in the implementation of the meningococcal


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