Page 5200 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 18 November 2009

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The government proposes to provide transitional support to the sector to accommodate any significant costs due to implementation and the introduction of the scheme should not impact on childcare fees charged by independent organisations. Childcare centres set the rate of fees according to services delivered.

There was another supplementary by Mr Doszpot who asked what impact the childcare fees increase is having on the labour force participation rate. The response is that there is no indication that the childcare fees are having an impact on the labour participation rate. The ABS labour force survey study of October 2009 shows that the number of people participating in the labour force continues to rise.

Hospitals—Calvary Public Hospital and Clare Holland House

Debate resumed.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (3:02): The ACT Greens believe that public health facilities should be in public hands. For that reason we support the ACT government’s proposed purchase of the Calvary Public Hospital and have a number of concerns about the Little Company of Mary acquiring Clare Holland House. The ACT community and members of the Legislative Assembly on its behalf are faced with a difficult situation, where to achieve one form of government ownership we must give up another. Rather than accept this proposal, the Greens MLAs wish to see the government pursue an arrangement where it has ownership of both Calvary Public Hospital and Clare Holland House.

We acknowledge that the Little Company of Mary is in a position of great power in this situation. Its board has indicated it is unwilling to sell the hospital if it is unable to purchase the hospice. Public consultation was conducted by the ACT government. It has shown that the ACT community would like both facilities to be under government ownership, and it is on that basis that the Greens have moved this motion today calling on the Little Company of Mary to reconsider the inclusion of the hospice in the deal.

I note that the Liberals have criticised the Greens for believing public health facilities should be in public hands, but I guess we could draw another one about housing—an area where the Greens are not opposed to a level of community housing being under non-government ownership. My answer to that is that the Greens do support public housing being in public hands. In fact, we have a goal of 10 per cent public housing stock, which is much more than the Liberals have ever spoken about.

Mr Hanson: What has this got to do with the Little Company of Mary?

MS HUNTER: If you had not been interjecting you would have followed it through. What is done with small community organisations in a peer model is very different to what is done at a large-scale public level.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Members, order! I cannot hear Ms Hunter. I think there are half a dozen private conversations happening. Can we please be quiet and listen to Ms Hunter.

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