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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 7 October 2021) . . Page.. 2913 ..


MRS JONES: You have had your chance to speak, Minister, and you did not address that issue. That is another failed commitment to the people of Canberra. The minister claims that, now she has several fit testing machines, it means there has never been a problem; there never is a problem, apparently, with fit testing! Well, there was and there is. It continues to be a problem. If she would take the time to listen to phone calls from some distressed nurses from time to time, she would know that to be the case. I take the calls. I am happy to listen to them. I do not assume that they are lying; I do not assume that they are telling untruths. Whenever the government are put under pressure about failures in health their automatic response is to accuse the person who is complaining. That is a tactic called accuse to excuse. It is not correct.

Ms Stephen-Smith: I have never done that.

MRS JONES: Absolutely that has been done. The Chief Minister is particularly good at it. The Chief Minister claimed that the Garran Surge Centre will boost ICU capacity, which it will not.

Ms Stephen-Smith: He did not.

MRS JONES: The quote is from 22 September. He said it would take them into the low hundreds. The minister actually denies that, but that is factual. She should look at the transcript of that.

Ms Stephen-Smith: ICU low hundreds, surge centre exists. The two things do not—

MRS JONES: He linked them. She should know; she was at that press conference. To add insult to injury, of the 257 workers who were committed to last week, 90 are nurses. This will not fix the problems in the staffing of health. The government has refused to acknowledge the phenomenal effort, dedication and courage of our healthcare workers and to ensure that they are properly resourced, supported and protected by taking that out of the motion.

Ms Stephen-Smith interjecting—

Substantial capital investment is required to rebuild the hospital and to create clinically appropriate facilities. We need to see a process for nurses to re-enter the work force. Again, today, the minister has not outlined what that process is. It is correct that it is done by AHPRA. But what are you doing to get those nurses that have volunteered that have not yet come in through that process? Is there no role for the ACT government, no role at all?

Ms Stephen-Smith: Three hundred and thirty-three that have been facilitated into the system already.

MRS JONES: You had your chance and you did not explain it.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mrs Jones!


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