Page 2796 - Week 07 - Thursday, 7 June 2012

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This pressure has been recognised by the Australian government and a number of new dental schools have been created to address this shortfall. The new graduate program introduced by the Australian government will fund the placement of first-year dental graduates in public sector dental services from 2013. The Australian government outlined a proposal in the 2012-13 budget that will extend this scheme to include oral health therapists. I am pleased to inform the Assembly that the dental health program in the ACT has been active in this new graduate program since its inception and expects to host the first participants in this scheme. These graduates will be a welcome additional workforce for the public sector.

Historically, clinical space availability has also created limitations. In the 2008-09 budget the ACT government marked the beginning of a 10-year redevelopment of health infrastructure. In the near future ACT dental infrastructure will increase in capacity in order to meet future demand. This will see a six-dental-chair clinic in the new Gungahlin community health centre and an 11-dental-chair clinic in the new Belconnen community health centre in 2013.

I am pleased to remind the Assembly that the dental health program introduced dentistry student placements in 2010. The students provided many opportunities for improved recruitment strategies and promoting a learning culture within the program. The dental health program was successful in obtaining additional funding through Health Workforce Australia to increase student clinical placement capacity, to refurbish an existing dental clinic in the Civic health centre and to build an additional clinic. The growth of student placements within the public dental program is a positive step towards recruiting new graduates to public dentistry in the territory.

In the recent Australian government budget announcements, significant funding has been allocated to public dentistry, including $345.9 million over three years to alleviate pressures on public dental waiting lists. This budget announcement is welcomed and we look forward to discussions at the intergovernmental level on a model of care to improve timely access to public dental services in the ACT.

I thank the Speaker for allowing me the opportunity on behalf of the Chief Minister to address this important aspect of public dentistry in the territory.

Roads—traffic calming

Statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation), by leave: On behalf of the Chief Minister I wish to make a statement regarding traffic calming measures in Fadden, Macarthur and Richardson, pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly on 2 May. In its resolution of 2 May 2012 in relation to Fadden traffic calming measures, the Assembly called on the government to “report on measures taken by the last day of the June 2012 sitting week”. So I am responding on behalf of the Chief Minister to that part of the resolution.

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