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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2727 ..


MR SPEAKER: I have been advised that Mr Moore has withdrawn the matter of public importance that he had submitted for discussion today.


MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Minister for Health and Community Care): Mr Speaker, I table the statement on illicit drug-related harm minimisation strategy, which I did not have with me during my speech.

Report on Purchaser-Provider Arrangements in Health, Education
and Social Welfare Services

MR WOOD (4.33): I present Report No. 16 of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, entitled "Purchaser-Provider Arrangements in Health, Education and Social Welfare Services. A Report on Regional Effects and Outcomes under New Zealand Economic and Financial Changes, May 1996", together with extracts of the minutes of proceedings. I move:

That the report be noted.

Mr Speaker, the committee visited New Zealand in May 1996 to assess the regional effects on health, education and social welfare services, in the light of the significant economic and financial changes which have been under way in that country, especially since 1990. The visit followed an earlier visit by the committee in 1994, when it focused on the economic and financial changes involving concepts of accrual accounting in the government sector. That visit was confined to discussions with central government agencies and peak business, professional and social welfare organisations, as well as with academia.

The purpose of this visit was to assess the extent to which change had occurred in the delivery of certain government services and the effect of contracting those services out to private sector bodies. The visit was timely and instructive, having regard to the changes under way and being debated, both nationally in Australia and in the ACT. From extensive discussions, it is clear to the committee that there is a great deal of concern within contracted service provider agencies about the pace of public sector financial change and the lack of adequate safety net provisions and support services for those in the community who are disadvantaged by change; and that there has been insufficient recognition of the damage to growth and productivity of increased inequality, reduced real wages and uncertainty within the community.

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