Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2949 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
Ms Gallagher, the health action plan, as you say, is a very important document. It will set the directions and priorities for health in the ACT for the next three to five years. We are all consumers of health care services, so the plan, perhaps more than any other, is relevant to the lives and wellbeing of every member of this community.
The plan is another example of the hard yakka that this government is undertaking, the strategic planning that we are putting in place, in the interests of the people of the ACT. The government is committed to full and open consultation and it has established a comprehensive process to ensure that everyone has a chance to contribute to the finalisation of the plan, which, as was just said, has its origins in the health summit.
To maximise the opportunities for public input, ACT Health has distributed the draft plan to all attendees of the health summit; placed the draft on the internet; advertised the availability of the draft and the consultation process in both the Canberra Times and the Chronicle; promoted the availability of the draft and the consultation process through the news media; placed the draft plan on the ACT government's community consultation online website; distributed details of the consultation process to ACTCOSS, the Health Care Consumers Association and all ACT government employees; and scheduled four public meetings across the ACT.
The first of the four public meetings was held last Monday at the Canberra Hospital. I understand that it was very positive and a very useful meeting. One disappointing aspect of the meeting was that only a small number of members of the community participated. We all understand how difficult it is for many people within the community to find time to attend public meetings, but I hope that all members of the Assembly will take an interest in this process and encourage constituents to actively contribute to the development and finalisation of the plan.
Another public meeting is scheduled to take place tonight from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm in meeting room 1 at the Tuggeranong Community Centre. It will be a great opportunity for members of the Tuggeranong community and the Tuggeranong Community Council to have a major input in relation to the issues affecting the valley, particularly in relation to the availability of GP services.
Two more meetings are scheduled for next week. The first is to be at lunchtime on Monday, 2 September in the theatrette of the ACT Community Care building on the corner of Mort and Alinga streets in the city. The second is to be on Tuesday, 3 September, from 7.00 to 9.00 pm in the function room of the Lewisham building at Calvary Hospital.
I have also asked the department to determine whether members of the Assembly would be interested in having a presentation on the draft held here in the Assembly. I look forward to the support of members for that. Of course, people who cannot attend any of the public meetings should still take advantage of the opportunity to comment on the plan by sending their comments by email or in writing to the action officers.
As I say, it is a very significant plan. The draft plan lists 104 actions across 13 priority areas. There is an opportunity there for us as a community to set out our priorities in health care, how we are going to deliver on those priorities, and how we are going to