Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 435 ..
Ms Follett: The Commonwealth pays for it.
MRS CARNELL: That simply is not the truth. The on-costs, the costs of putting those services together, simply were not covered by what we were paying for the salaries. It is all on the record now. We have given a full explanation of what was happening with casual staff at Jindalee, and I understand that most members of the Assembly accept that.
With regard to selling government-owned health centres, we have given an undertaking that we will not sell Kippax Health Centre for 12 months while we do our absolute best to see whether we can get tenants back into the centre and make the thing work, not end up with a 75 per cent empty or 50 per cent empty health centre such as we inherited from the previous Government. There is no doubt that Melba Health Centre has closed and will remain that way, simply because there were no services left in the centre. We inherited a 75 per cent empty health centre. I am quite uncomfortable, as I am sure everyone in this Assembly would be, about keeping that big health centre open with no services other than two doctors literally floating around in it.
With regard to ancillary health services, I think I have already covered that one at length. I think this motion attempts to say that the same services will stay at the same health centre forever. That would simply be ridiculous. Demographics change. Some areas need more baby health clinics, as currently is the case at Gungahlin. In terms of health services generally for the whole of Canberra on a macro basis, obviously we are not in the business of reducing health services to Canberrans. That is the last thing we want to do. The move from critical care to community-based care is the whole basis of the COAG approach.
I think we have covered all of the areas here. To make sure that we have a vibrant health approach in the ACT that gives the Government an opportunity to provide services where they are needed, to target them to the people who need them most, which is the whole job of the Government, I would have thought, my amendments need to be passed.
That the amendments (Mrs Carnell's) be agreed to.
The Assembly voted -
AYES, 8 NOES, 7 Mrs Carnell Mr Berry Mr Cornwell Ms Follett Mr De Domenico Ms Horodny Mr Hird Ms McRae Mr Humphries Ms Tucker Mr Kaine Mr Whitecross Mr Moore Mr Wood Mr OsborneQuestion so resolved in the affirmative.