Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 522 ..
MR BERRY (continuing):
The third health problem I would like to raise relates to a problem identified by Professor Kearney as long ago as 1990. In his report on the proposed new clinical school, he raised concerns that our public hospitals have a very low ratio of salaried medical officers to visiting medical officers. We know the problems of dealing with the visiting medical officers and their salary rates; we know that they are higher than in the rest of the country; and we know that efforts are under way to negotiate new contracts with these particular specialists. I must say at this point that there is no doubt about the quality of services that many of these specialists provide; but, at the end of the day, the community has to pay for them, and their services have to be delivered at a fair rate. A fair rate is not way in excess of the average around this country. So, I wish Mr Moore luck on that one, and I trust that his promise to get it sorted out by next week was made against the background of an understanding of those issues. I am sure that he wants to deal with it quickly; but next week, I think, is a bit of a tall order. I hope that the Health Minister moves to redress this problem. I think they are issues that have to be dealt with quickly, and I wish him luck again.
MR HIRD (5.20): Mr Speaker, I rise to inform the house that, in the recent Tidy Towns competition, Belconnen won the local competition - the first time ever it was successful - and in the national competition it was commended and was runner-up. I think this is a fine effort on the part of a lot of enthusiastic people in Belconnen, who have shown that they are dedicated to lifting Belconnen in the Tidy Towns competition. I believe that their efforts are to be commended. As I said, the judges of the national competition commended their efforts. I thought I would inform the house of what is happening in the electorate of Ginninderra with respect to the suburbs within Belconnen.
Question resolved in the affirmative.