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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 2666 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Whether you consider the square model at Woden, the mall model here in Civic, or the covered town centre or shopping centre model at Tuggeranong, all those models exclude cars from driving through the very centre of the retail area, to some extent anyway. The suggestion is made that we should follow that model here. The Planning Authority will keep a close eye on this question and ensure that if there is a case for that to happen it will happen.

As members might be aware, we are considering presently the closure of Franklin Street, Manuka. The issues arising from that kind of decision are quite complex. I hope that members would appreciate that it is not simply a question of saying, "Yes, we will close the street", dusting our hands, and that is the end of the issue. I might point out as well, for Mr Wood's benefit - he talked about inadequate resources for the process of developing this plan - that $80,000 was put aside in this budget for that purpose. That was, I think, a quite considerable investment. It was for the Mitchell/Giurgola and Thorp work on this matter. It was in addition to what was in the previous budget. It was a quite significant sum of money.

Suspension of Standing Orders

Motion (by Mr Humphries) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the order of the day, private members business, relating to Health Services being called on forthwith.

Debate resumed.

MS TUCKER (3.53): Mr Speaker, it is ironic that we are standing here seeking to protect the future of community health centres in the ACT. Mrs Carnell ran her election campaign very strongly on improving health services in the ACT. She was going to fix up our health system. As far as the Greens are concerned, and as far as the community is concerned, there was no mandate to reduce health services, particularly in local communities. These services are about local people's needs. They are about access and equity. They are about mothers, the elderly, people with special needs, people without cars.

Governments are here to assist all people access the services that they need. When health comes down to a matter of capacity to pay, many people will miss out. We will end up with a society where rich people get one type of service and poor people another. Community health centres are important because, as far as community services go, they are also the central focus of primary health care in the ACT. They are the first point of call for many people in the health system, particularly those who do not have the ability to pay. At least here they know that they will not be cross-examined about their financial situation.

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