None . . Page.. 321 ..
MRS CARNELL: The answer to the first part of that question is yes, the $15m of special revenue assistance was part of the negotiations entered into between my Government and the Federal Government. It was very much part of that. I think I have said that time and time again, and I think I have answered the second part ad infinitum. The Commonwealth believes that there is an agreement; Paul Keating believes that there is an agreement; Michael Lee believes that there is an agreement, stated in writing; I believe that there is an agreement; my Government believes that there is an agreement. The only people who do not seem to think there is an agreement are members of the Labor Party.
Health Facilities - Brindabella Electorate
MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, my question is addressed to Mrs Carnell as Minister for Health. Chief Minister, would you provide the Assembly with a breakdown of the Government health facilities and comment as to why there is a disproportionate lack of these in the electorate of Brindabella, especially in the Tuggeranong Valley? The people of Tuggeranong might be a bit healthier than anywhere else, but perhaps you could explain that to us.
MRS CARNELL: The Department of Health and Community Care has eight health centres in the ACT. There are three centres - Belconnen, Kippax and Melba - in the Ginninderra electorate; there are four in the Molonglo electorate - Dickson, the city, Narrabundah and Phillip; and there is one in the Brindabella electorate, that is, in Tuggeranong. Clearly, there is a need for the Government to look at the adequacy of health services in the Brindabella electorate. The Government will certainly do so during its term in office.
It is interesting to note, too, in terms of the number of doctors available, that there are two salaried doctors practising at the Melba Health Centre, there are two salaried doctors practising from Belconnen, and there are private practitioners at the Kippax Health Centre. So, there are four salaried doctors in Ginninderra. In the Molonglo electorate we have salaried doctors and in Tuggeranong we have two salaried doctors. The situation as it now stands is, on the face of it, that Tuggeranong does have fewer ACT Government facilities than is the case in either of the other electorates.
What we have to do as a government, in addressing these problems, is not just to look at how many doctors are available but also to look at how to best utilise what is a significant asset for the ACT Government, that is, our community health centres. Community health centres provide more than just GP services. There are a number of other services provided from our health centres, including physiotherapy, day care for the elderly, nutrition, social work, nurse practitioners, community nursing, school and adult dental, alcohol and drug services - the list goes on. We have a $3m facility in Tuggeranong that needs to be utilised a lot better than has been done in the past. We have to look at the facilities that are available the services that are available to the people of Tuggeranong, and better utilise the facilities we have now.