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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1703 ..


those roads. That is exactly what we are doing through the work on Boboyan Road. Smiths Road, Sunshine Road and Booroomba Road, and the Angle Crossing works have been going on as well.

We have got to get on and do those works. At the point in time when they are being progressed, officials will discuss those matters with them, at the appropriate time, to get their input and to make them aware of those works happening. Of course, a lot of these relate to safety issues that have been the result of what has been occurring on the roads with rain and also on some of our rural roads with the recent bushfires. Those need to be prioritised. We just need to get on and do those works because there are safety issues that need to be addressed in the short term.

MS LAWDER: Minister, can you outline what immediate steps you have taken to address the most parlous safety issues?

MR STEEL: Madam Speaker, I did that in the first answer to the question that Mr Parton put to me.

Health—dental

MR DAVIS: My question is to the Minister for Health and it relates to dental care in the ACT. We know that due to lack of foresight by the federal government that, unfortunately, dental care is not included in the Medicare system, in spite of a considered long-term campaign by the Australian greens. I am curious to know what work the ACT government is doing specifically to fill that gap and ensure that there is affordable dental care in Canberra for Canberrans from low-income families.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Davis for the question. Of course, the Australian Labor Party did also go to the last federal election with a very significant commitment in relation to expanding dental care, which is completely contrary to the approach that the coalition government has taken. It has more than halved the funding for the dental national partnership in 2017-18. It was $2.23 million for the ACT in 2015-16 and was reduced to $0.9 million in 2017-18. But despite that and despite the ongoing discussion between health ministers about the need for a long-term national dental partnership that appropriately funds this area of critical service, we are continuing to get on with the job.

The oral health service in the Division of Rehabilitation, Aged and Community Services of Canberra Health Services is a multidisciplinary team that provides diagnostic, preventive, restorative oral surgery and dentures for the Canberra community. This team provides dental services through mobile dental clinics, through community health centres across Canberra, through the Hume Health Centre at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, at Bimberi Youth Justice Centre and at Dhulwa mental Health Unit.

Of course, ACT Labor has continued to expand these services, and in 2018 we expanded appointment times for child and youth dental services at the Belconnen and Tuggeranong health centres, and in 2019 two additional mobile dental centres


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