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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 706 ..

Nurses - Registration

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I have a question to the Chief Minister in her capacity as Minister for Health and Community Care. Minister, as you would appreciate, under the mutual recognition principles there are no longer barriers within Australia to registered professionals from one State or Territory practising in another jurisdiction. Will you assure this Assembly that nurses who are registered in New South Wales are fully accepted for service in ACT hospitals? Will you guarantee that any barriers are removed from nurses who are registered in New South Wales to make sure - - -

Mrs Carnell: Well, if they are registered in the ACT.

MR BERRY: Will you remove any barriers preventing nurses who are registered in New South Wales from being allowed to practise here in the ACT?

MRS CARNELL: Mr Berry used to be a Minister for Health at one stage and he might know that in the ACT we have something called a Nurses Registration Act which actually requires nurses who work in the ACT to be registered in the ACT. It is actually the law. My understanding is that this Assembly passed that legislation. My understanding is that those opposite actually supported it as well. It would appear to me, and it is certainly my understanding of this area, that all health professionals that work in the ACT must be registered in the ACT under the laws that we have all supported.

MR BERRY: Given that there are no residential requirements in the New South Wales registration Act and ACT nurses can choose to register there, thus avoiding - - -

Mrs Carnell: In the ACT.

MR BERRY: ACT nurses can choose to register in New South Wales.

Mrs Carnell: But they cannot work in New South Wales unless they are registered there.

MR BERRY: There are no residential requirements - - -

MR SPEAKER: Order! Continue, Mr Berry.

MR BERRY: Mrs Carnell has demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the mutual recognition standards, because registration in one State can qualify you to practise in another State, unless, of course, a State puts in place an artificial barrier. I am asking Mrs Carnell: Will she remove the barrier for nurses who are registered in New South Wales in order that they can practise here in the ACT, thereby avoiding the massive hike in ACT registration fees which has again artificially been put in place to come down on ACT nurses?

Mr Kaine: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Is this a supplementary question or is it a former ministerial statement?

MR SPEAKER: It finally ended up that way, Mr Kaine.

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