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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1333 ..

ACT financial assistance scheme for ACT residents who have contracted asbestos-related diseases from living in a Mr Fluffy home. Mr Fluffy has been a blight on our city for decades—longer than my entire life on this planet. Any other city that lost more than 1,000 houses and had generations of residents exposed to such a deadly substance would have been declared a disaster zone. That we have managed this major rectification over the last six years is testament to the quality of ACT public service work and to the strength of our city’s community and our community spirit.

Now we must take the next step, and help those in our community who may fall ill over coming years. They have a right to obtain the latest medicines and treatments without having to decide to use and be forced into using their family life savings or superannuation. They have the right to have some comfort that their families will not be left destitute after their passing.

The recognition by the commonwealth and ACT governments of joint ethical and community responsibility to address this demonstrates that some issues can transcend politics and strict legal liability. I particularly want to thank and acknowledge Minister Hunt for recognising that. This has required advocacy by the ACT government and, of course, the considerable efforts of James Wallner and his dedicated loved ones and supporters. As I am sure members are aware, Mr Wallner passed away on the weekend. On behalf of the ACT government, I extend my condolences to his family and friends.

In conclusion, we have a long way to go in our recovery, but the government has a plan to ensure that Canberra emerges stronger together, and our results to date prove that we are on the right track. I present the following paper:

ACT economic recovery—Driving the successful recovery, one year on—Ministerial statement, 12 May 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Health—nurses and midwives

Ministerial statement

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.46): Nurses and midwives underpin the healthcare system and are vital to Australia’s future health care. Their contributions to individual wellbeing, local communities and the wider society are immeasurable. Nurses and midwives provide socially appropriate, evidence-based care in all settings across the health sector—as you, Madam Speaker, would be more aware of than any of us in the chamber, except perhaps the representatives of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, who I welcome here today.

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