Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2876 ..
MRS CARNELL: The ACT Government will ensure that the Kippax Health Centre is used to maximum potential. That means that we are looking at all of the appropriate options. One of the things that we will not be doing is leaving a half or three-quarters empty health centre to decay and end up with fewer and fewer people in it, as occurred under the previous Government. As we know, a number of doctors actually left the health centre last year, because they could not get a lease under the previous Government. That will not be the case. In whatever approach we take with the health centre, we will ensure that that approach will encompass getting the health centre full again, getting services back into the Kippax Health Centre and not ending up with a half empty establishment.
MS TUCKER: My question is directed to Mr Stefaniak, the Minister for Education and Training. Can the Minister guarantee that the Government will not make any changes to the education programs at Birrigai? If not, what changes does he envisage?
Ms McRae: Nobody can afford to go there.
MR STEFANIAK: Contrary to some of the catcalls from opposite, a hell of a lot of people can afford to go there. In fact, 4,623 places for 87 schools have been confirmed for 1996.
Mr De Domenico: How many?
MR STEFANIAK: I will read that out again, Mr De Domenico. There are 4,623 places for 87 schools. At this stage, there are only nine days left in 1996 for education program bookings. People had better hurry up. As Ms Tucker should know, the Government has a duty to the community in terms of properly managing the Birrigai centre. Accordingly, we are looking at more efficient ways of managing it. It is not terribly efficient to manage a centre where you have two lots of cooks and in a support role a lot of additional staff that you do not necessarily need. The Government is looking at ways of doing that better, including tendering out the management of the centre.
The education programs have been written into any tender documents, and it is most important that they remain. The education programs will be conducted by the schools and, already, as I indicated earlier, we do have virtually all those places taken. Ms Tucker, if you know of any other schools or students who are interested in getting involved, there are only nine days left for next year.
MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. My question was: Will you be making any changes to the education programs at Birrigai? You have implied that there will not be. I refer to a letter to Mr Haggar from the Department of Education and Training, which says: