Page 115 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 27 November 2012

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I would like to conclude tonight by reiterating a sobering fact that one in three women will suffer violence from a man in their lifetime. I had the opportunity to meet one last night, Anj Barker, who was terribly bashed by her boyfriend when she was 16 and became a paraplegic. She is a lesson to all of us, in that she spends most of her time now teaching people that instruct on domestic violence and those that give advice—with the support of her family, of course.

I want to congratulate Lifeline and their DV response team for the event last night and the continuing work they do to make sure that violence against women is stopped.

Commodore Paul Berger

MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.58): I too want to record my deep admiration for Paul Berger. I have known Paul, Virginia and their sons, Simon in particular, since I joined the party in 2000. Virginia and Paul were always very supportive of me as a young person in politics, and other Young Liberals here in the ACT.

Paul was a valued husband, father, friend, naval officer, party member and more. Mr Hanson has already recorded much of his contribution to the party and other ventures, but I too would like to acknowledge his ongoing support and friendship and commitment to all his endeavours. My thoughts and prayers are with Virginia, Simon and Andrew in their time of loss.

West Belconnen Health Co-op

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (4.59): Tonight I rise to talk about an important organisation in my electorate of Ginninderra. West Belconnen Health Co-op is a community success story. It had its beginnings in 2004, after the failure of the private medical practice model to attract any GPs to work in west Belconnen. Community activists surveyed the needs of residents in Charnwood and surrounding suburbs and, with a grant from the ACT government, were able to develop a feasibility study and business plan. The community formed the West Belconnen Health Co-op at the end of 2006, with the assistance of the ACT and federal governments.

Madam Deputy Speaker, let me tell you about some of the successes of the West Belconnen Health Co-op. Eight years ago there were no GPs in west Belconnen. Last financial year the co-op more than doubled the numbers, growing from four to 10, and there are even more clinical nurses as well. The total number of consultations grew from 29,510 in 2010-11 to 42,721 in 2011-12.

The cooperative is a member-owned business. Impressively, membership grew from 8½ thousand to 14½ thousand over the last year. Members pay a low annual fee which gives them bulk-billed medical appointments with their doctor of choice. Other services offered by the co-op include a dietician, mental health outreach, pathology, a breastfeeding support group, speech pathology, hearing tests, diabetes education, ACT Heart Foundation’s programs and the lifestyle modification program through project funding from the ACT government.

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