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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (5 September) . . Page.. 3157 ..

Women's Information and Referral Centre

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, my question is for Mrs Carnell as Minister for Health and Community Care. I did give Mrs Carnell some notice of this question. Can the Government guarantee that the Women's Information and Referral Centre's forced move from the North Building will be to a location which ensures the same standard of client access and service delivery as in the present situation; for example, access to public transport, no stair entry and so on?

Mrs Carnell: That is actually in Mr De Domenico's area.

Mr Berry: He has something left?

MR DE DOMENICO: I have a lot left, mate. There is one thing we have that you do not, and that is government. That is pretty important, I have to tell you. That is pretty important, mate; and do not hold your breath about coming back to this side. You might shift places across the other side of the chamber; but it will be a long time before you come over this side, I have to tell you.

Mr Speaker, I will not listen to the chooks on the other side; instead, I will answer Ms Tucker's very sensible question. The Government is obviously committed to continuing the valuable services provided by the Women's Information and Referral Centre to almost 8,000 members of the Canberra community each year. There are no plans for changing the current level of service or means of delivery of that service. The Women's Information and Referral Centre is currently located on the ground floor of the North Building, which will become part of the Canberra Cultural Centre. Work on the centre is expected to start this calendar year, Mr Speaker. The Department of Urban Services is currently examining options for alternative accommodation for all tenants on both the ground and first floors of the North Building. This includes the Women's Information and Referral Centre, which will require accommodation which is easily accessible and highly visible but which is able to protect the confidentiality of its clients, quite obviously. A government-owned or currently leased space is obviously preferable. I expect suitable accommodation will be identified and the WIRC relocated within the next three months. That, I think, answers your question.

Students - Personal Hygiene

MS McRAE: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Stefaniak in his capacity as Minister for Education. Minister, following the general public's concern about the outbreak of hepatitis A in the ACT, could you inform the Assembly of what is the Education Department's policy on ensuring that soap is available to children to wash their hands properly at school? Since many illnesses are passed on by contact, what safeguards do you have in place to assure parents that personal hygiene is dealt with appropriately in schools?

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