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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (22 February) . . Page.. 192 ..

MS TUCKER: I ask a supplementary question. Have you involved the community of Kippax at all in this discussion so that it can communicate with the so-called professional management team?

MRS CARNELL: I think that potentially that supplementary question is out of order under standing order 119, Mr Speaker, but I am very happy to answer it.

MR SPEAKER: Did you hear it? I was not sure whether you heard it, to be honest, Chief Minister.

MRS CARNELL: Yes, I had trouble hearing it, but I am very happy to answer it anyway. We believe quite strongly that what we have to do with Kippax Health Centre is get somebody who knows about renting space so that we get people into the centre. Certainly, we are more than happy to speak to the community, and have spoken to the community, about what sort of services should be in the centre; but in the past we have seen what happens when we do not have professional property managers. You have half-empty centres costing a large amount of community dollars, health dollars, and for nothing. We do not want that to happen in the future.

I gave an undertaking that we would put off the sale of Kippax Health Centre for 12 months while we see whether we can - I am not sure that we can yet - make something of the health centre, which is badly planned and has horrendous on-costs. Last year the cost of repairing the air-conditioning system at Kippax alone was some $50,000. Those health dollars could be spent on an extra person, an extra community nurse. I would much rather spend $50,000 on actual health services than on propping up a building that does not work in its current form; but, because this Assembly determined that they did not want Kippax Health Centre sold, I am willing to give it a go to see whether we can stop that sort of drain on health dollars and channel those dollars back into health services, where they should be. The only way we can do that is to let substantially more of the floor space at Kippax and get rent for it to cover the on-costs - for the information of those people who do not understand these things. If we can achieve that, then those precious health dollars can be spent on services.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I would like to raise an issue. Mrs Carnell may have inadvertently misled the Assembly - - -

MR SPEAKER: You will do nothing of the sort. Would you sit down. We are in the middle of question time.

Jindalee Nursing Home

MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Chief Minister, Mrs Carnell. Now that the new owner of Jindalee is about to take over, can you advise what action has been taken in relation to the casual nursing staff who have been working there for longer than six months?

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