Page 1792 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 April 2009

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which is certainly some of the models that we have seen in the UK, or partnered with established GP or medical centres. They are the options that have had the most significant support.

Some of the professional groups would prefer that the nurse-led walk-in clinics commence in the hospital campus and fall under that governance arrangement. I think there is a bit more work to do and discussions to be had around the scope of practice and the final site for the first nurse-led walk-in clinic, but I certainly thank people who have participated in the discussion, and those organisations and professional groups where this has been a challenging issue, in terms of considering whether or not they would support such a model, for being gracious enough to give us that conditional support pending further discussions and finalising the scope of practice for these nurse-led walk-in clinics.

The government in the election campaign committed to starting the first nurse-led walk-in clinic in a hospital setting prior to moving out to a community-based setting, and that is still our position. I think there is some merit when you are establishing new ways of doing things to have very tight governance over that and a very thorough review process before you move out of the confines of that hospital setting. But I would say that if this model is successful, if it does what we want it to do, which is to relieve some of the pressure from our emergency departments, to meet some of the needs of particularly young families in accessing primary care out of hours when other options are not available, the idea of moving them to the community and having them accessible and close to people’s homes is something that we will pursue further.

The outcomes of the consultation round have been very successful to date. I look forward to working with all those organisations to see this project through to the final stages with the opening of the first nurse-led walk-in clinic, hopefully within the next 12 months if we can deliver it with the agreement of all involved in that time.


MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in the Assembly on 24 March this year you said:

… household consumption and private sector investment has increased. These are all measures of an economy that has underlying strengths.

Minister, yesterday the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the retail sales figures for February 2009. Treasurer, why did the seasonally adjusted retail sales in the ACT fall by $65,000 per day in February 2009?

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank Mr Smyth for the question. When you look at retail sales figures for the month of February, they were down in the ACT by about 0.5 per cent, which is the second lowest, after the Northern Territory, of anywhere in the country.

The collapse in world trade, perhaps, the collapse in the financial markets and the fact that almost the entire world is in recession and Australia appears to be heading that way may have something to do with the preparedness of individuals to actually spend.

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