Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 1899 ..
MR MOORE: They ought to be conscious that each and every one of those salaried specialists is entirely capable of becoming a VMO and by doing so would probably treble or quadruple their salary. They would become much better off financially. We have sought to ensure that we can retain those salaried specialists, because it suits us and it suits the community. The best health service we can get will come from retaining those salaried specialists. We have sought to do that.
The interjection that keeps coming from Mr Hargreaves about using the disabled to pay for it is just nonsense. We have improved the service, Mr Hargreaves. I do not know who established the practice of having buses running all over Canberra. I do not know how it could possibly have been thought of when, quite clearly, for about 10 per cent of the cost you can have taxis go to somebody's door, pick them up and take them to the hospital. Quite clearly, this is an improved service. Who knows how somebody could have initiated the original service, although many things in Canberra that have gone on for a long time have not been looked at.
I am excited that we have people within the hospital system, within the department, looking at these issues and saying, "Is this the best, most effective, most efficient way to deliver a service?". An officer, whom I must chase up so I can give credit where it is due, has discovered that we can provide this better service for a much cheaper price. I think they deserve congratulations.
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for children's, youth and family services. Can the Minister explain why the ACT Government did not sponsor a youth week for 1998 as it has in previous years and instead chose only to promote a single youth day?
MR STEFANIAK: There are a number of reasons for that. The main one is the fact that in 1998 we were meant to have a nationally coordinated youth week. Unfortunately, that did not eventuate. In consultation with various youth bodies, it was decided that we should still do something, and accordingly we are having a youth day. We are planning to revert to the very popular youth week from next year, at about this time, or even a few weeks earlier. It was mooted a couple of years ago at a Youth Ministers meeting that about August 1998 would be an ideal time for a national youth week. I think you will find that my State and Territory counterparts have all been working towards that. Unfortunately, that did not proceed. I do not know what happened there. I think the Commonwealth, who were meant to be doing something, did not in fact go ahead with that. Accordingly, we decided to have a youth day.
We had only so much time to organise something and for the youth themselves to do the work they would need to do. However, the Youth Advisory Committee, amongst others, were very keen to see something done, and they felt that a youth day would be the best idea. Late this year the Canberra community is going to come together to celebrate