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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2327 ..

MR BERRY: I move:

That the debate be adjourned.

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: The reason I have moved to adjourn this debate is that this is a Bill of consequence to the delivery of health services here in the ACT which has been before this chamber for only seven days. Mr Speaker, for a Government that has based much of its ethos, in publicity terms, on consultation and those sorts of things I think it is an affront to the community to bring a Bill of such consequence on for debate in this chamber after only seven days. I know that the Government made the Bill available to members before that time, but the community have not had similar access. I think this is racy work, to say the least.

Ms Follett: Indecent haste.

MR BERRY: As my colleague interjects, it is indecent haste. The Bill deserves more air in the community before it is acted on. I am advised by members of the Health Department that this Bill will not affect Mrs Carnell's moves to a purchaser-provider split. That can go ahead without the Bill. On that basis, in my view there would be no administrative pain if this Bill were to be delayed until the next sittings.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Minister for Health and Community Care): I seek leave to make a statement, too.

Leave granted.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I do not quite know what we are debating. This Bill has been around for a very long time now. It has been the subject of consultation with the unions at the hospital, with staff at the hospital, with staff in Health generally and with management in Health generally. A draft of the Bill was made available to members of the Assembly quite a number of weeks ago and full briefings were given. As members of the Assembly will know, this Bill brings health and community care under a statutory authority and sets up a board for that entity. It is very much about the approach to management of our health system. It is an approach to management that I am very well aware that those opposite do not share with the Government. They do not like that approach to management, but it is absolutely - - -

Mr Berry: It does not work.

MRS CARNELL: They do not agree, but not agreeing with an approach to management is not a reason to be unwilling to handle a Bill that people have had for quite a long period of time. I think it is important to note that Woden is very much the exception to the rule in this area. Boards of management or boards of health are very much the case Australia-wide. It is not as if we were moving towards some sort of weird and wonderful new experiment in how our health system should be managed

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