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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 2623 ..


MR CONNOLLY (11.31): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move a motion circulated in my name relating to community health centres.

Leave granted.


That this Assembly calls on the Minister for Health to take the following actions:

(1) reinstate the salaried medical practitioner program to at least the level existing at the time the Liberals took office unless 100 percent bulk billing can be guaranteed;

(2) implement the promises made in this Assembly and in other public statements in relation to all staff at the Jindalee Nursing Home, ie all staff, including casual staff, to be offered jobs and retraining in other parts of health or alternatively redundancy payments;

(3) withdraw any action aimed at the sale of government-owned health centres; and

(4) maintain all ancillary health services at government-owned health centres at a level at least equal to that which existed when the Liberals took office.

Furthermore, the Assembly requires evidence of the implementation of the above on Tuesday, 12 December 1995.

Mr Speaker, as we move into the penultimate sitting week of the first year of the Carnell Government, it is becoming increasingly obvious that this Government - which made such a welter of being open, consultative, listening to the will of the people, council style and heaven knows how many platitudes - is showing signs of increasing arrogance and petulance when it cannot get its way. This is demonstrated no more clearly than in relation to community health services.

Mr Speaker, this Government went into the election promising not to close health centres. For much of last year its members were leaping up and down in this place, and issuing media releases, thundering about the lack of salaried medical practitioners in the community health centres and calling on both Wayne Berry and me to increase the numbers, saying that there were not enough in Tuggeranong, or there were not enough in Belconnen, or what have you. It is not unreasonable that a combination of that strong public campaign and the promise not to close health centres would have led the people of Canberra to assume that the community health centre network - a striking feature of this city for over 20 years - would be retained.

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