Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2612 ..
MR MOORE: I thank Mr Corbell for that question. A 17- to 20-bed facility for a hospice is certainly what we are intending to build at the moment. Some schools have been designed so that at the end of their life, due to changes in demographics in the area, they can be adapted for aged persons homes and care. In the same way there was a question as to what would happen to a hospice facility if the general thrust of palliative care continued as some commentators have suggested and we did not have a free-standing hospice and we did not have a hospice within hospitals; in fact, the palliative care was dealt with almost entirely in homes.
What would be the case should that happen? The contingency issue was that in those sorts of cases we would have to make sure that we had a facility large enough to be viable. Therefore, should we be able to convert a hospice to a nursing home, which is the most apparent thing for the conversion, and should we make sure that that contingency exists? It is only a contingency. There is no suggestion, there is no money appropriated and there is no intention to build anything other than a 17-bed hospice.
As part of my consultations with the Hospice and Palliative Care Society, Sister Berenice, who is the manager of the hospice, Calvary Hospital and the Hospice and Palliative Care Partnership Team, we will be including in the building offices for the palliative care team that currently works from the hospice. We will make sure that that is included. Mr Corbell, it is a very long-term issue to make sure that there is enough land around the hospice in case it should happen. It is a very minor issue, but it was considered as part of the range of issues that have been considered.
MR CORBELL: I have a supplementary question. Minister, can you assure the Assembly that all sites will be assessed against the same criteria, or is it simply the case that the requirement for the aged care facility was put in to favour some sites over others?
MR MOORE: No, it was not put in with any intention of favouring some sites over others. No, the hospice sites will not all be assessed against the same criteria. Some sites, such as Yarramundi Reach, obviously will be eliminated very early and therefore will not go through the full assessment process.
Let me give you another example. A Garran site was suggested. It is quite clear that there is a very noisy road next to that site and to go into further assessment of that site would be just a waste of money. Of the sites remaining, we will certainly look at the full range of criteria before making a decision. But that will not remove the possibility of eliminating sites on a particular overwhelming ground.
MR BERRY: My question is to the Minister for Education and relates to the introduction of the MAZE system into the ACT education system. Is the Minister aware, firstly, that the training for its users is inadequate; secondly, that the program is not powerful enough to perform all the tasks required; and, thirdly, that students' end-of-year reports may be delayed as a result of that?