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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (26 May) . . Page.. 567 ..

MR SPEAKER: No critiques in preambles, because you cannot have any preambles.

MR BERRY: Just a little one is okay. Mr Speaker, will the Minister tell the Assembly how much this VMO has received in ACT health payments under the contract he breached, and has any estimate been made of how much extra he received in booking fees?

MR MOORE: To answer your last question first, Mr Berry, I will leave it up to you to make the estimate of the extra money. I cannot comment on that. You could look up last year's annual report on health services and you would see that approximately $230,000 was paid to Dr Bates from the public purse in the year 1996-97. To date, to 14 April 1998, in this financial year Dr Bates has been paid $211,267.18. I will say that, in speaking individually to other VMOs, they always point out to me that the money is not going directly to their pocket, because there are other doctors who are paid similar sums of money. I think we have to remember that they also keep staff on to do things. It is also important to understand that the visiting medical officers also earn money separately from the money that is paid by the hospital. So it is very large sums of money that we are talking about.

Ms Carnell: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Competition Policy - Belconnen Aquatic Centre

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, in response to Ms Tucker's question earlier, I am advised that competitive neutrality principles are applied to all government activities and they are included in the competitive neutrality guidelines.

ACT Housing Properties - Tenants with Disabilities

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, Mr Hargreaves recently asked a question about the arrangements between ACT Housing and the Department of Health in relation to finding properties for people with disabilities. I have a short answer for him.

ACT Housing consults with the Rehabilitation Unit of the Canberra Hospital before proceeding with requests from clients with disabilities for modifications to government properties. Where the modifications are only minor, such as the installation of grab rails, ACT Housing may proceed with the work independently. Major modifications are recommended by the Rehabilitation Unit. Over the years, ACT Housing has modified a number of properties to meet the special needs of public tenants and applicants with disabilities. When these properties become vacant, ACT Housing reviews its applicants list to identify people who have indicated that they have special needs. With the assistance of the Rehabilitation Unit, ACT Housing endeavours to allocate these properties to people with physical disabilities.

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