Page 5195 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 18 November 2009

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MS BURCH: Portable long service leave is around providing support to the workforce, which, clearly, those opposite just do not get. They have no regard for workers. They have no regard for a quality workforce around training support and industrial support for workers, and it is extremely disappointing for the sector that the workers in childcare are, indeed, not supported by those opposite.

Mr Hanson: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: the question is specifically regarding Ms Burch’s quote, where she said that portable long service leave was around increasing the workforce within childcare centres. We have asked her repeatedly to explain how that will be so, and she has refused to do that. She is just giving a speech that we do not support workers’ rights. She needs to answer the question.

MR SPEAKER: Minister Burch, do you wish to make any further comments?

MS BURCH: I have answered the question.

Hospitals—Calvary Public Hospital and Clare Holland House

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, can you inform the Assembly of the issues that the Palliative Care Society have raised with the government with regard to the proposed overall transfer of Clare Holland House and how these have been responded to by the government?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter again for her question and her interest in the proposal to purchase Calvary Public Hospital and transfer ownership to Clare Holland House.

As members will be aware, we have been having an ongoing dialogue with the ACT Palliative Care Society to discuss the proposed transfer of ownership of Clare Holland House. I met with them on 18 June, on 25 August and on 20 October. The Chief Minister attended the meeting hosted by the ACT Palliative Care Society on 12 November, last week.

Right throughout these discussions with the Palliative Care Society, we have worked very hard to address the concerns that they have raised. The first issue they raised with the government was their concern that the proposal may affect the integration of palliative care services into the broader health system. In response to this, the government pointed out to the Palliative Care Society that Little Company of Mary Health Care have been providing the public palliative care service in the ACT for many years—and out of Clare Holland House since 2001. We all agree. Calvary Health Care and the ACT government have signed up to the palliative care strategy 2007-11, which outlines the commitment around future directions for palliative care in the ACT and largely signs up to the national agenda in this way.

The second area of concern was that, if the owner and manager of the hospice are the same, the influence of future governments over the provision of palliative care in the ACT may be limited. The government’s response to this was that, as the government will continue to be the 100 per cent funder of the service to provide a public palliative

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